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posted by martyb on Sunday May 02, @06:31PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the what-goes-up... dept.

Huge rocket looks set for uncontrolled reentry following Chinese space station launch - SpaceNews:

China launched the first module for its space station into orbit late Wednesday, but the mission launcher also reached orbit and is slowly and unpredictably heading back to Earth.

The Long March 5B, a variant of China's largest rocket, successfully launched the 22.5-metric-ton Tianhe module from Wenchang Thursday local time. Tianhe separated from the core stage of the launcher after 492 seconds of flight, directly entering its planned initial orbit.

Designed specifically to launch space station modules into low Earth orbit, the Long March 5B uniquely uses a core stage and four side boosters to place its payload directly into low Earth orbit.

However this core stage is now also in orbit and is likely to make an uncontrolled reentry over the next days or week as growing interaction with the atmosphere drags it to Earth. If so, it will be one of the largest instances of uncontrolled reentry of a spacecraft and could potentially land on an inhabited area.

Most expendable rocket first stages do not reach orbital velocity and reenter the atmosphere and land in a pre-defined reentry zone. Some other larger, second stages perform deorbit burns to lower altitude to reduce time in orbit and lower chances of collisions with other spacecraft or to immediately reenter the atmosphere.

There had been speculation that the Long March 5B core would perform an active maneuver to deorbit itself, but that appears not to have happened. At a Wenchang press conference Thursday, Wang Jue, Commander-in-Chief of Long March 5B launch vehicle, stated (Chinese) that this second Long March 5B had seen improvements over the first launch, but a possible deorbit maneuver was not stated.

Ground based radars used by the U.S. military to track spacecraft and other objects in space have detected an object and catalogued it as the Long March 5B rocket body. Now designated 2021-035B, the roughly 30-meter-long, five-meter-wide Long March 5 core stage is in a 170 by 372-kilometer altitude orbit traveling at more than seven kilometers per second.

NOTE: The booster 2021-035B has other identifications: "Number 48275" and "Object name: CZ-5B R/B"

Where is it? You can track it online either live or see a 10-day projection.


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Related Stories

NASA Criticizes China after Rocket Debris Lands in Indian Ocean 29 comments

NASA criticizes China after rocket debris lands in Indian Ocean

NASA denounced China for "failing to meet responsible standards" after debris from an uncontrolled rocket reentered Earth's atmosphere late Saturday evening.

Chinese state media, citing the China Manned Space Engineering Office, reported that the debris landed in the Indian Ocean, west of the Maldives, according to Reuters.

Most of the debris burned up in the atmosphere, the office added.

U.S. Space Command confirmed the rocket's reentry on Sunday but said it was "unknown" if the debris touched down on land or water.

In a statement on Saturday, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson criticized Beijing, writing that it is "critical" for China and other countries to "act responsibly and transparently in space."

Fully reusable rockets don't have this problem.

Previously: Huge Rocket Looks Set for Uncontrolled Reentry Following Chinese Space Station Launch
Chinese Booster Rocket Crashing Down to Earth [UPDATES 2]


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  • (Score: 3, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Sunday May 02, @06:36PM (33 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday May 02, @06:36PM (#1145450)

    So... that big Space-X fireball that dropped huge tanks in eastern Oregon... that was planned?

    --
    My karma ran over your dogma.
    • (Score: 2) by Frosty Piss on Sunday May 02, @06:59PM (4 children)

      by Frosty Piss (4971) on Sunday May 02, @06:59PM (#1145454)

      The SpaceX tanks that survived reentry were not “huge”.

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by JoeMerchant on Sunday May 02, @07:41PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday May 02, @07:41PM (#1145461)

        They would be huge if they hit you in the head after falling from space.

        --
        My karma ran over your dogma.
        • (Score: 4, Funny) by mhajicek on Sunday May 02, @09:44PM (2 children)

          by mhajicek (51) on Sunday May 02, @09:44PM (#1145493)

          So would a toilet seat.

          • (Score: 1) by hemocyanin on Monday May 03, @01:47AM (1 child)

            by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 03, @01:47AM (#1145552) Journal

            I liked that show quite a bit.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tangomargarine on Monday May 03, @07:03AM

              by tangomargarine (667) on Monday May 03, @07:03AM (#1145602)

              For those not in-the-know, Dead Like Me. [wikipedia.org]

              It was a pretty black humor show to begin with, but personally I wish they would've reined in the absurdity of the deaths just a little bit. Death by deorbiting Mir toilet seat in the pilot is fine and all, but when they do something on that level almost every episode, it gets a bit ridiculous.

              Another bit of trivia, apparently the reason they got rid of Rebecca Gayheart after like the 4th episode was that she hit and killed a child with her car IRL. Understandably the people in charge of the show thought the PR for her continuing to play a grim reaper onscreen after that was a bit...suspect.

              --
              "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Sunday May 02, @07:06PM (4 children)

      by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 02, @07:06PM (#1145455)
      Yes, Oregon is the designated state to drop rockets and rocket parts on, just like the Carolinas are for dropping nuclear [wikipedia.org] weapons [wikipedia.org] on.
      • (Score: 5, Funny) by JoeMerchant on Sunday May 02, @07:43PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday May 02, @07:43PM (#1145462)

        I thought that was Texas, or it Texas only for manned missions' unplanned re-entry? NASA: Need Another Seven Astronauts. Still too soon?

        --
        My karma ran over your dogma.
        • (Score: 1) by HammeredGlass on Sunday May 02, @08:19PM (2 children)

          by HammeredGlass (12241) on Sunday May 02, @08:19PM (#1145470)

          Still too soon.

          • (Score: 5, Touché) by DECbot on Monday May 03, @12:28AM (1 child)

            by DECbot (832) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 03, @12:28AM (#1145530) Journal

            Though not for the reasons you think. NASA first needs a new spacecraft that seats seven before seven astronauts are needed.

            --
            cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
            • (Score: 3, Touché) by KilroySmith on Monday May 03, @03:06PM

              by KilroySmith (2113) on Monday May 03, @03:06PM (#1145678)

              NASA may need a new spacecraft that seats seven, but SpaceX already has one - and they've flown it for NASA for a couple of missions already. Of course, NASA being NASA, they only seat four in it at a time.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday May 02, @08:20PM (1 child)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 02, @08:20PM (#1145471) Journal

      So... that big Space-X fireball that dropped huge tanks in eastern Oregon... that was planned?

      Only if you can explain in detail the degree of cromulence of the Chinese launch.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 03, @01:37AM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 03, @01:37AM (#1145549)

        Chinese can't even write decent English language owners' manuals for their gizmos, you're demanding cromulence?

        --
        My karma ran over your dogma.
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Catalyst on Sunday May 02, @09:00PM (20 children)

      by Catalyst (7542) on Sunday May 02, @09:00PM (#1145484)

      At least that was from a failure of a system that usually works to deorbit them, China just doesn't care enough to engineer that in and would rather just pay for any damages that happen if it happens to flatten somebody's car or cow.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, @09:26PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, @09:26PM (#1145490)

        Should falll on xi's mom.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, @11:49PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, @11:49PM (#1145516)

          It would be too easy to hit such a large object, the world would be much better served by hitting Winnie the Pooh himself.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 03, @01:42AM (1 child)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 03, @01:42AM (#1145551)

        Some would call that efficiency.

        --
        My karma ran over your dogma.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, @01:20PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, @01:20PM (#1146764)

          much from microsoft they have learned

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Socrastotle on Monday May 03, @06:30AM (15 children)

        by Socrastotle (13446) on Monday May 03, @06:30AM (#1145591) Journal

        The ability to effectively engineer controlled reentry would be cheaper, even in expected value terms, than going for uncontrolled entries. I think there are three main possibilities:

        ---

        1) We are judging things ahead of time. They may plan to use grid fins or other technologies to drive a low power semi-controlled reentry after the atmosphere has stabilized the rocket's spin.

        2) They planned to do a reentry but failed for technical reasons. This could have been something like a mishap causing an excess expenditure of fuel, or somehow losing contact with the rocket following deployment.

        3) The specifics of this mission, which entailed launching a very large payload with minimal self propulsion, made any effort at controlled reentry impossible given their technology.

        ---

        I don't understand the modern hyper-sensitivity to risk. Even if #3 is the case, I'd mostly shrug. The most probable scenario, by far, is it landing in the middle of some body of water somewhere. And even if it lands on land again the most probable scenario, by far, is it landing in some uninhabited spot. The chances of it posing a risk to human life are negligible. Obviously they should endeavor to achieve controlled reentry to bring negligible down to zero, but it's just not a very big deal.

        And to be clear, this isn't for a lack of care about human life - but rather balancing risk against outcomes. For instance there's a pretty neat datum I read a while back. About 40,000 people die in the US each year in traffic accidents, so around 1.7 deaths per 100 million miles driven. As a result of this, if you drive just 10k miles per year - your chance of dying in a car wreck in any given year is around 1 in 6000. To get real edgy, that suggests that minimal driving is more dangerous for a young and healthy individual than even COVID.

        Of course this in general is not going to make you go "oh shit, I better stop driving". You just kind of shrug and get on with life. In this case, the odds of the reentry killing *anybody* are going to be much lower than your odds of dying with modest driving. And the odds of the space station killing *you* are going to be something like 1 in trillions. So while I'd agree this is an issue the Chinese should certainly work to solve, the "concern" over it also feels like clickbait.

        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday May 03, @06:55AM (9 children)

          by tangomargarine (667) on Monday May 03, @06:55AM (#1145598)

          I don't understand the modern hyper-sensitivity to risk.

          Yeah, because, say the random deorbit bringing it down in the middle of New York City would be a minor inconvenience, barely worth mentioning /s

          The most probable scenario, by far, is it landing in the middle of some body of water somewhere. And even if it lands on land again the most probable scenario, by far, is it landing in some uninhabited spot. The chances of it posing a risk to human life are negligible.

          Sure, but that's why you bother to plan a graceful deorbit, to *ensure* it doesn't kill anybody. Because by Murphy's Law, if you do enough random deorbits, sooner or later it will wind up somewhere that ends up killing somebody, then you end up looking bad.

          By way of analogy, say you trade in your everyday car for a Ferrari, but make no plans for swapping out the tires. "Well it would be an extra $10k to change out the tires, and the odds of me hitting and killing anybody is negligible, so I'm just going to continue using racing slicks in the winter." Don't they have a term for that..."negligent homicide" or something?

          Or a delicate surgery procedure in the hospital. "Well there's a minor chance the patient will go into cardiac arrest, but we'd have to pay an extra technician to be standing by with a crash cart to defibrillate him if his heart stops, so we'll just cross our fingers." Malpractice? What's that?

          And to be clear, this isn't for a lack of care about human life - but rather balancing risk against outcomes.

          If you've got enough money to run a fricking space program, you've got enough money to plan a safe deorbit!

          Or you're China, which apparently doesn't give a fuck who they piss off lately. But we just finally dragged ourselves out of the Era of Trump, so glass houses and all that, I suppose.

          So basically, your entire argument is predicated on luck. Because I'm sure if it comes down on a major city and a few hundred people die in the process, the managers will just say, "oops, I guess we lost that die roll; oh well", and not fire anybody, right? And their bosses won't fire them either.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Socrastotle on Monday May 03, @08:13AM (8 children)

            by Socrastotle (13446) on Monday May 03, @08:13AM (#1145613) Journal

            You're again emphasizing the point. You are obsessing over outcomes that have a negligible chance of happening. But the thing I find much more interesting is the logical inconsistency you and many people have with this.

            I think the vehicle analog is perfect here because it emphasizes that driving a minimal amount in normal and safe conditions is one that still entails an amount of risk, but risk people just shrug off. If somebody did not drive because they were scared of dying in a car crash, they'd be seen as -at a minimum- eccentric and rather overly obsessed with rare scenarios. Yet that scenario of dying in a car crash is many orders of magnitude more likely than dying from this deorbiting.

            You only argued against this by [I believe unintentionally] disingenuously appealing to scenarios that are not at all rare. Crashing while driving a super-car on worn racing slicks in the winter on city-streets during the winter would not be a rare outcome, nor would causing damage to people or businesses. Nor are things like cardiac events rare during "delicate" surgeries.

            • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday May 03, @10:21AM (7 children)

              by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 03, @10:21AM (#1145625)

              The difference between the road user; the road user has taken on the risk by their own volition, presumably to glean some benefit from the road use (pleasure, getting to work quicker, whatever). Whereas there is no tangible benefit to a random person if the rocket falls on their head (one might argue a miniscule indirect benefit from "technology development", but it is pretty slim).

              • (Score: 2) by Socrastotle on Monday May 03, @06:30PM (6 children)

                by Socrastotle (13446) on Monday May 03, @06:30PM (#1145760) Journal

                I'm going to sidestep the obvious argument that most people are compelled to drive, because I want to consider something much more fundamental. Imagine you're an average 30 year old male. What do you think your chances of dying next year are? For the sake of simplicity, let's assume we are not in a plague. I think most would dramatically underestimate the number. It's about 1 in 500. [ssa.gov] Each year we live longer is largely down to a roll of the dice. The real secret of people like George Burns? Get lucky. The same is even true today of people like Warren Buffet. He's not relatively healthy at 90 years old because he's a billionaire, he's relatively healthy at 90 years old because he's an extremely lucky individual. Every day you are put at countless risk from an innumerable number of possibilities, the vast majority of them completely outside your control.

                And so when you see an event like this, it's not like your risk of death suddenly goes from practically zero to something real - but instead from something real to pretty much the exact same value. The surface area of the Earth is something like 5.5 quadrillion square feet. And even if it lands within some certain distance from you, that's not even necessarily gg. It will likely have long since broken up into numerous pieces, and so need a whole lot of stuff to go right (well, or wrong I guess) for anything to actually happen. Most pieces, for instance, will be unlikely to be able to pose a danger to anybody inside of any structure, like a house. The odds of killing you? I've no idea beyond the fact that they are going to be *extremely* long. Perhaps one in a trillion? Contrasted against your already present 1 in 500?

                It's interesting to lookback at what we were like in the 70s [wikipedia.org], in the mindset of a people still striving for and achieving great things.

                Skylab's demise in 1979 was an international media event, with T-shirts and hats with bullseyes[8] and "Skylab Repellent" with a money-back guarantee,[151] wagering on the time and place of re-entry, and nightly news reports. The San Francisco Examiner offered a US$10,000 prize for the first piece of Skylab delivered to its offices; the competing San Francisco Chronicle offered US$200,000 if a subscriber suffered personal or property damage.[7] A Nebraska neighborhood painted a target so that the station would have "something to aim for", a resident said.[151]

                ...

                Stan Thornton found 24 pieces of Skylab at his home in Esperance, and a Philadelphia businessman flew him, his parents, and his girlfriend to San Francisco where he collected the Examiner prize and another US$1,000 from the businessman.[6][8] The Miss Universe 1979 pageant was scheduled for July 20, 1979 in Perth, and a large piece of Skylab debris was displayed on the stage.

                And keep in mind that Skylab was several times more massive than this rocket that's being deorbited, with a consequently exponential increase in risk (higher mass => higher terminal velocity => exponential increase in energy).

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @09:58PM (5 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @09:58PM (#1145828)

                  Mass vs risk is not proportional. Massive objects usually have a larger surface area and will pancake at lower atmospheric densities, lowering their risk. The problem with this rocket is that it is a medium-sized mass full of toxic fuel with a design to force a small surface area that needs higher density to pancake. Yes, it is smaller but it is not that much, if at all, "safer" when you look at the whole picture.

                  • (Score: 2) by Socrastotle on Tuesday May 04, @07:50AM (4 children)

                    by Socrastotle (13446) on Tuesday May 04, @07:50AM (#1146044) Journal

                    Objects break up upon reentry. So you don't get the objects coming back down, but whatever bits and pieces manage to avoid disintegrating upon reentry. So mass is the primary factor, and why the norm is that anything below 10 tons is generally fine to just toss on down, and anything above is supposed to be reentered in a controlled way.

                    Also, fuel it not a concern for several reasons. The rocket will almost certainly not have any fuel left (or it would do some sort of a controlled reentry), what fuel it does have left will likely disintegrate long before it hits the ground, and even if it makes it to the ground - it'd be water, literally: the core stage of the long march rocket uses liquefied hydrogen + oxygen as its fuel.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, @09:49AM (3 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, @09:49AM (#1146068)

                      No surface area is the controlling factor. Object breakup is a result of a process called "pancaking" and pancaking results from the surface area of the object transferring mechanical stress to the object. Additionally, they ablate at their surface thanks to the heat generated by the aerodynamic processes. Small objects have a higher surface area compared to their mass thanks to the square-cube law. This causes them to simultaneously burn up and break up faster and slow their speed. What objects and in what pieces survive have everything to do with the size, shape, and mass of an object. Satellites, for example, have a much larger mass requirement to survive reentry than a random meteor because they are designed to breakup and burn up and also have a larger surface area for the various forces to act per unit mass. To dismiss object shape and construction when talking about aerodynamic forces acting on an object is naive. As an example, imagine the blunt return capsule being replaced with a pointed object, or without the massive structural reinforcement, or without the heat sheild.

                      And yes, fuel is a concern. A rocket doesn't burn all of its fuel for a number of reasons and the location is a prime spot to potentially survive partially intact. But I looked and it does appear they don't use hydrazine on that stage of the rocket but some sources say they use kerosene/RP1.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, @03:34PM (2 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, @03:34PM (#1146179)

                        In the atmosphere objects do not break up from pressure stresses, but from heat. Shape can have some effect when you're talking about extremes comparing something like a 100% dense sphere-like object vs a satellite, but in practice it's generally irrelevant. This is why the norm is based upon mass. Less than 10 tons = toss it into the atmosphere and just rely on nothing but dust being left. More than 10 tons = greater chance of some potentially dangerous pieces surviving the heating.

                        You're right hydrazine is some really nasty stuff, but that's not used as a primarily propellant. Hydrazine is used for high precision maneuvering - stuff like maneuvering precisely when doing a landing, or docking with another ship (or space station) or whatever so it's generally on things like capsules, or later stages. The core stage is just going to be filled with lots of H2 + O that's not only harmless but also long since burnt up.

                        • (Score: 2) by Socrastotle on Tuesday May 04, @03:36PM

                          by Socrastotle (13446) on Tuesday May 04, @03:36PM (#1146182) Journal

                          I did not mean to post AC there. I'm quite interested in continuing this if you have anything to add. I find it interesting and you certainly have a very different background than I. For instance I've never once heard the term pancaking. Mechanical engineering I'd assume.

                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 05, @06:25AM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 05, @06:25AM (#1146397)

                          For a bigger object, things are very different. If it's a few yards across, instead of simply burning up, that chunk of space debris gets squeezed by the air pressure as if it's in a vise-the pressure can top out at over a thousand pounds per square inch at meteoric speeds. This pressure can flatten out the incoming object in a process called pancaking for obvious reasons. But a rock can only take so much of that before it crumbles and falls apart. Within seconds, instead of one big rock coming in, we now have hundreds or thousands of little ones, all still moving at velocities of several miles per second, and all dumping their energy into the air around them. They compress further, fracture, heat up, and so on ... and within a fraction of a second we have a whole lot of rubble releasing a whole lot of heat all at once. This is, by definition, an explosion.

                          That is from https://www.physicscentral.com/explore/writers/plait.cfm [physicscentral.com] which is an exceprt from one of Dr. Plait's excellent books. You'll notice in his descriptions that he describes the shape and composition of the objects instead of their mass. He also describes the mechanical stress on the material and not its ablation directly. It is a somewhat complicated topic, but he covers the basics fairly well for uncontrolled entry and their are plenty of resources out there.

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by KilroySmith on Monday May 03, @03:30PM (1 child)

          by KilroySmith (2113) on Monday May 03, @03:30PM (#1145687)

          >>> that suggests that minimal driving is more dangerous for a young and healthy individual than even COVID
          36,000 auto deaths a year (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year) in the USA (pop: 331,500,000) can be approximated (if you squint a bit) as about a 1:10,000 chance of dying in a vehicle accident per year.
          Total number of US COVID deaths in the last year for those under 30 years old: 2789 (from https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#demographics [cdc.gov] ). Total number of people under 30 in the USA: about 125,000,000. So, the odds of a "young and healthy individual" dying of COVID during a pandemic year is (squinting again) about 1:45,000. Don't drive to the vaccination site.

          Locking down schools is not about protecting kids. They're more in danger of dying from getting driven to school every day. It is about keeping them from transmitting COVID to mom and grandma - 95% of COVID deaths in the USA have been in people over 50.

          • (Score: 2) by Socrastotle on Monday May 03, @05:01PM

            by Socrastotle (13446) on Monday May 03, @05:01PM (#1145728) Journal

            FWIW I wasn't adding healthy as a synonym for young. There are plenty of very unhealthy young people, especially in America, and they make up very nearly all of the young COVID deaths. The standard for CDC is that if an individual dies and has COVID then it's counted as a COVID related death. So people dying with (and likely *of*) cancer, heart failure, diabetes, etc are being marked as COVID deaths which the media then represents as young people dying *of* COVID, which is simply yellow journalism.

            I also do not think the CDC's stance is wrong. It sounds kind of weird that cancer deaths are being counted as COVID deaths, but COVID is a beast with preexisting conditions of all sorts. And so it is reasonable to assume that COVID may have contributed to the accelerating decline from other conditions, even if those conditions would also likely have proven fatal on their own, sooner or later.

            IMO, the better idea would be to vaccinate mom and grandma (and our 20 year olds with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc) and encourage other folks (and companies) to simply engage in due diligence to try to minimize spread. With mass vaccination with vaccines that effective enough to reduce severe outcomes, but not enough to provide substantial immunity, we risk creating a prime breeding ground for mutations. Kind of like how antibiotic resistance is being driven in no small part by people taking antibiotics and then stopping once they feel better. They are no longer having a severe outcome, but without completely wiping out the bacteria within their body - they end up creating a primo breeding ground for antibiotic resistance mutations.

            Of course new mutations just means new vaccines and more profit for the companies making them. There's quite a lot of perverse incentives in commercialized/investable healthcare.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @03:45PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @03:45PM (#1145695)

          The Long March 5B has never done a controlled reentry so I think we can safely rule out there being any kind of de-orbit system on it.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @05:30PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @05:30PM (#1145736)
          There's a big difference you're missing. Your genes are likely to have more influence over whether you die while driving than whether you die because a few tons of rocket trash from Chinese litterbugs landed on you.

          The former type of incident can have some benefit for the species overall. Genes for better/worse reflexes, eyesight, judgement, etc are getting selected there.

          That's why dying from doing dangerous risky stuff is preferable from you dying in an elevator or other sort of death where your genes have very little control or influence over (e.g. plane crash where you're not the pilot).

          And since male humans are more expendable than females[1], it's actually good for the species that many young guys do dangerous risky stuff. If they survive they're more likely to have genes worth keeping than the ones who didn't survive. And that's why there's a gender imbalance in fail/awesome videos especially the more dangerous ones...

          [1] You don't need as many male humans as females to maintain the population.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @06:55PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @06:55PM (#1145768)

            Might I reference the Intro to Idiocracy [youtube.com]? It's gradually turning into a documentary.

  • (Score: 1) by HammeredGlass on Sunday May 02, @08:24PM (4 children)

    by HammeredGlass (12241) on Sunday May 02, @08:24PM (#1145474)

    I've looked on a number of satellite and space junk tracking sites and zilch.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Snotnose on Sunday May 02, @11:12PM (7 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Sunday May 02, @11:12PM (#1145509)

    China dropping boosters with unburned nasty stuff on their own villages is OK, providing the Chinese deny everything. China dropping boosters with kinetic energy is fine. Gotcha.

    In other words, China sees the rest of the world as those unwashed Uyghur, they just haven't gotten around to tossing us into re-education camps yet.

    --
    Having a big nose is no reason to not wear a mask. I mean, I still wear underwear....
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, @11:51PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, @11:51PM (#1145518)

      Q: Will you be accepted by the CCP as an authorized ethnicity?
      A: Are you Han?

      • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Monday May 03, @04:05AM (1 child)

        by DECbot (832) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 03, @04:05AM (#1145582) Journal

        CCP is now an ethnicity? Not even the Hans are safe if they're caught practicing wrong think. Next you'll be telling me CCP is a gender and sexual orientation. Or do I have the order backwards? Yes, naturally the CCP ethnicity is the natural result of a large population claiming CCP gender and orientation! I all makes sense now. Chickens were hatched from eggs laid by proto-chickens.

        --
        cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @03:51PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @03:51PM (#1145699)

          CCP is now an ethnicity?

          Not any more than the KKK was an ethnicity, but they have much the same views on race relations. The only difference is which race they consider to be Übermensch.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @12:58AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @12:58AM (#1145532)

      The fine link says the current orbit goes between 41.5 deg latitude (N and S).

      Google reports that I'm currently at 42.9°N -- nyah, nyah, can't hit me!

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @01:40AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @01:40AM (#1145550)

      Wasn't Russia the big, bad bogeyman last week? Or was it Iran? Iraq? Maybe Venezuela? Perhaps gays are the new evil. Maybe woke people are bad? Red, blue, left, right? I CAN'T KEEP UP ANYMORE! Thankfully, I just don't give a shit what the government says.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @02:39AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @02:39AM (#1145570)

        I dunno. Pull your head out of your ass and turn off Fox News and you'll suddenly be drifting rudderless not knowing who you're supposed to hate this week.

        • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @08:26AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @08:26AM (#1145615)

          Fortunately I turned on the NYTimes and they've promptly told me exactly who I'm supposed to hate once again.

          Let us like and promote each other, because we hate the same people now! But the people we hate are the *right* people to hate!

          I will thus give you an insightful mod my fellow right people hater.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @01:19AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @01:19AM (#1145542)

    China

    There, nuff said. That explains it all.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by MIRV888 on Monday May 03, @01:54AM (1 child)

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Monday May 03, @01:54AM (#1145554)

    What are the odds?
    ;-)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @03:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @03:55PM (#1145703)

      Taiwan is a pretty small target so China is much more likely to self-pwn. Frankly their space safety culture is only slightly better than the Soviet Union's was in the '60s.

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