German Satellite Could Have Obliterated Beijing

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On the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] of June, 1999, German scientists launched the 2.5 ton satellite, Rosat, from Cape Canaveral. Sent to space on an 18-month mission in search of X-ray radiation, it transmitted data about black holes and nearby galaxies for nine years until in ceased functioning.

The European Space Agency has been tracking its descent, and it eventually landed in the Bay of Bengal in the Indian ocean last October. Now, the agency is revealing that had it stayed aloft for seven more minutes, it might have hit Beijing instead, causing the worst disaster in space exploration. While most space debris burns up in the atmosphere, the Rosat was made of very durable material and about 60% of its bulk survived re-entry. That means if it hit Beijing, it would have destroyed buildings, shattered fuel lines, made large craters, killed a significant chunk of the 20million person population, and have given the Germans a very expensive bill to foot since the country responsible for launching the satellite is also responsible for any damage the satellite may do.

“Our calculations showed that, if Rosat had crashed to the ground just seven to 10 minutes later, it would have hit Beijing,” said the agency's head of space debris, Heiner Klinkrad.

ESA spokesperson Bernard Von Weyhe acknowledged that while Rosat was indeed close to hitting Beijing, it still had a lot of time not to because satellites travel so fast “if it hit one minute earlier it would have been in Siberia and one minute later in the Pacific Ocean.”

Knowing exactly where space debris will fall is never really known as the calculations can never be exact. Scientists cannot control the satellite once it starts to re-enter, plus the friction of the atmosphere slows down satellites, and those exact figures according to the amount of debris being burned up are never known.

Luckily, the world has two worry-free years till the next satellite, NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, makes its re-entry sometime between 2014 and 2023. The fluctuations in solar activity make the year difficult to predict at the moment. The Rossi was launched in 1995. the 7000-pound satellite is currently 294 miles above earth and has a 1-in-1000 chance of harming someone when it makes its re-entry, not the standard 1-in-10,000 NASA set later in the 90s.

NASA spokesperson, Beth Dickey said: “This satellite was launched four months before the first NASA standard on orbital debris mitigation and re-entry risk management was issued. As such, it was not subject to the re-entry risk guideline, since it had already been built.”

So what's being done to help make sure satellites like these don't hit anyone? Well, the EU is currently constructing a defense shield that will help the earth from man-made satellites and potentially dangerous asteroids. No details on how the shield will work have been revealed, but the contingency plan is definitely well underway.
 
2cvbloke

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Could they not have aimed it at hong kong instead where all them chinese ebay sellers are located? Could have stemmed the flow of utter rubbish into the western economy.... :D
 
Lazarus

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Not until after my new DECT Phone Battery is delivered, thankyou Deux Chevaux. It did cost me £1.31 (inc. pp)!!!
 
2cvbloke

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Tivù said:
Not until after my new DECT Phone Battery is delivered, thankyou Deux Chevaux. It did cost me £1.31 (inc. pp)!!!
So you're going to be buying a new one next month too then? :-rofl2

Chinese phone batteries fail, literally... O-Ha
 
Lazarus

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The failing one is the same and has lasted since 2006 .............. BARGAIN!!
 
2cvbloke

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Tivù said:
The failing one is the same and has lasted since 2006 .............. BARGAIN!!
They have scanners (and scammers) & printers over there to make things look the same as things you get over here, then they burst into flames and ruin your phone... O-Ha
 
Lazarus

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The last one was from the same source ....................... I'll take the risk

In fact, all my NiMH batteries are - and I've never had a problem.
 
Lazarus

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Well it came earlier this week (well what do expect for £1.27 inc pp from H-K?!) and has taken a full charge without getting hot, leaking or exploding.

So far, it has outlasted the duration of the original at least ten-fold.

Not keen on trickle-charge NiMH as one often forgets to deep-discharge them every now and again to keep 'em at optimum capacity.
 
2cvbloke

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Give it a couple of weeks, the capacity will drop pretty sharpish, there's been a lot of batteries that have had a stated capacity fall to barely an eighth of what it should be after a few uses, and getting a replacement is impossible, hence my comment about stemming the flow of utter rubbish into the western world... O-Ha

Plenty of people on youtube who've bought them and now have to source batteries again... :D
 
Lazarus

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I'm glad my glass is half-full ............... yours seems to be half-empty :cool:
 
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2cvbloke said:
Could they not have aimed it at hong kong instead where all them chinese ebay sellers are located? Could have stemmed the flow of utter rubbish into the western economy.... :D
..Thats just mean buddy ..
I rely very heavily on those ebay sellers in the far East for components to repair the very goods they manufacture ..
..since no one here in the UK can be bothered to source ...import ..or even repair this stuff ..
I'm practically on my own ....up sh1t creek ..and the only guys to offer me a paddle ...have been HongKong ..and China..
Yes a lot of it's cheap nasty crap ...but its because of the consumers demand for such stuff ...at bargain basement prices ...that the problem is perpetuated..
cest la vie...
or should I say...

生活就是这样 or simplified phonetically ...

Shēnghuó jiùshì zhèyàng

VS
 
2cvbloke

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Whatever happened to British patriotism eh..... O-Ha

I'm just glad I haven't been bitten by the dragon.... :D
 
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