lunedì 23 ottobre 2017

Il boom cinese

Tratto da:

Map of Tiangong-1's orbits in June 2013. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Any time over the next six months, a Chinese space station will plummet out of orbit to a hard landing somewhere on Earth.
The Tiangong-1 (“Temple of Heaven”) spacecraft is descending from a starting altitude of 349 kilometers at a rate of approximately 160 meters daily, according to Chinese officials.
Most of the 9.3-ton craft will be destroyed upon entry into the planet’s atmosphere – but parts will land on Earth, Chinese officials concede.
“According to the calculations and analysis that have been carried out, most of the structural components of Tiangong-1 will be destroyed through burning during the course of its re-entry,” the Chinese told the United Nations in May. “The probability of endangering and causing damage to aviation and ground activities is very low.”
The Chinese have pledged to keep the international community informed of the craft’s progress – which can fall to Earth anytime between now and April 2018.
“Timely information about important milestones and events during the orbital decay phases will be released through the news media,” they assured the UN. “As to the final forecast of the time and region of re-entry, China will issue the relevant information and early warning in a timely manner and bring it to the attention of the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs and the Secretary-General of the United Nations by means of note verbal through diplomatic channels.”
The laboratory, which was launched in 2011, functioned through its six assigned missions and stopped working in March 2016. It was part of a major push for manned space flight by the Asian superpower – an initiative which has caused some to see a second, 21st century space race shaping up between the People’s Republic and the United States.
As China has gotten a foothold in outer space, their policies have been a concern for the international community. For instance, they deliberately destroyed one of their own weather satellites with a ballistic missile shot from the ground in 2007, which caused a massive cloud of debris in orbit that impeded orbital operations for almost all nations. China then launched a space-debris cleanup satellite called Aolong-1 last year – but that raised some concerns about militarization of the satellite orbits around the Earth.
China first sent a rover to the moon in December 2013, becoming the third nation to make a soft landing on the lunar surface.
The country has also officially announced an additional probe to complete its three-step moon exploration program.
The original space race began with the launch of the Soviet Union’s satellite Sputnik in 1957. Twelve years later, the U.S. essentially “won” the race with the historic Apollo moon landing.

Nessun commento: