[월드리포트] China’s ‘barbaric act’ in ‘Moon collision in early March’ of US rocket

It is predicted that a rocket launched by the US private space exploration company SpaceX will collide with the moon in five weeks. As you know, SpaceX was founded by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla. According to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post and others, this rocket is the Falcon 9, launched from Florida, USA in February 2015, seven years ago. It was tasked with sending the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) space weather observation satellites into orbits where the gravity of the Earth and the Moon cancels out. After completing its mission, the rocket ran out of fuel and became ‘space garbage’ floating in space.

“Rocket wreckage impacted the moon on March 4th”… “It doesn’t affect the Earth”

It was Bill Gray, an astronomical observer, who calculated the path of the collision between the ‘Falcon 9’ rocket wreck and the moon. Gray said the rocket had recently changed its orbit after a fairly close approach to the moon, and expected it to hit the lunar’s equator edge on March 4. The impact speed was predicted to exceed 9,000 km/h. The amateur astronomer community also confirmed Gray’s prediction. Exact times and locations may vary slightly, but there was consensus that there would be a March 4 clash. “I’ve been tracking space junk for 15 years,” Gray said. In the past, scientists have deliberately caused probes to hit the moon to obtain information such as lunar dust, but there has been no unexpected collision like this one.

Photo quoted by China's state-run Global Times

Dr Jonathan McDowell of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University in the United States raised the possibility that something similar might have happened in the past. “At least 50 projectiles from the 1960s and 1980s were in similar positions with this rocket,” McDowell said. “It’s true that the Falcon 9 rocket hit the moon on March 4th,” he said. This means that even if a rocket collides with the moon, it will have little effect on Earth. It was predicted that it would be difficult to witness the crash scene from Earth when the rocket debris fell on the far side of the moon.

Harvard University's Dr McDowell wrote, 'The lunar collision of rocket debris is interesting, but not a big deal'.

Chinese state media “Space X threatens spacecraft from other countries… barbaric behavior”

The Global Times, the English version of China’s state-run Global Times, reported the above fact ‘dry’. Citing the AFP news agency as it is, it was reported as “an unexpected collision of the moon and the satellite.” “Most rockets don’t go far from Earth” and “SpaceX brings rocket boosters back to Earth through the atmosphere and dismantles them at sea.”

However, the contents of the report of the Hwangu Times in Chinese were different. SpaceX’s rocket was tasked with sending U.S. space weather observation satellites more than a million kilometers away, and the wreckage of the “lost control” rocket was said to weigh four tons. “The wreckage of the recently launched satellites and rockets has been a threat to spacecraft in other countries on several occasions, raising concerns that the company’s ‘barbarism’ in the space field could lead to a surge in space junk,” he said. reported. Usually, the contents of the Global Times and the Global Times are the same, but the Chinese version of the article, which can be seen by Chinese people, is reported with its own interpretation. The People’s Network operated by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, also transferred and delivered the Global Times report as it was.

The Chinese People's Network cited the Global Times report that the actions of the US SpaceX were 'barbaric'.

There’s a reason the Chinese state media called SpaceX ‘barbaric’. The Chinese space station had to make evasive maneuvers to avoid collisions with SpaceX’s Starlink satellites twice in July and October last year. A satellite launched by SpaceX was approaching the Chinese space station ‘Tiangong’. Even China’s foreign ministry has accused the United States of ignoring its space treaty obligations and endangering the lives of astronauts. Starlink refers to a business in which SpaceX launches 12,000 small satellites in low orbit to build high-speed Internet services available across the globe. China exaggerates that 42,000 satellites will be mobilized for this Starlink project. It further raises suspicions that the US military may use Starlink satellites for military purposes. It seems clear that SpaceX is a threat to China, which prides itself on being a space power.

China launches the most rockets for 4 years in a row… “Developing a 150-ton carrier rocket”

So, which country launched the most rockets last year? That’s China. China’s state-run Global Times proudly reported in an article dated December 23 last year that “China has overtaken the United States in rocket launches in 2021”. A total of 145 rockets were launched into space in 2021, of which 55 were launched from China, 51 from the United States and 25 from Russia. It also said that the 55 launches broke the record of 39 launches set in 2018 and 2020, respectively.

According to the ‘Space Launch Report’ data, the number of rocket launches last year was 55 by China, 45 by the United States, and 25 by Russia, although there is a slight difference from the previous Global Times figure, China is the same. China did not overtake the U.S. for the first time last year, but has consistently overtaken the U.S. since 2018. It became the country with the most rocket launches for the fourth year in a row. In May of last year, concerns were raised that the wreckage of the rocket ‘Changjeong-5B’ launched by China could go out of control and fall to the ground, causing tension around the world at one time. In fact, in 2020, large fragments of a Chinese rocket fell on Africa, damaging some buildings.

Last year's rocket launch statistics.  China, the United States, and Russia took first to third places.  (Source = Space Launch Report)

China’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (CNSA) foretold many rocket launches this year as well. It is planning to complete the construction of its own space station, Tiangong, within this year. It also promised continued exploration of the Moon and Mars. It said that it is also developing a carrier rocket capable of launching a spacecraft weighing 150 tons, the same weight as the space station ‘Tiangong’. The US and Russia may be responsible for the past space junk. But in the future, neither will China be free from responsibility. You never know when the wreckage of a Chinese rocket will fall to Earth again or threaten satellites of other countries. Before accusing it of ‘barbarism’, it seems like the time has come for us to join forces in the search for cosmic order and space waste management.

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