To the surprise of the old drivers, the West is getting more and more troubled about the wreckage of China’s Long March V B rocket. A reporter publicly asked the Pentagon on the 5th whether it was “ready to intercept and break the wreckage of Chinese rockets”, Pentagon spokesman Kirby also vaguely said that “it is too early to explore what we can do.”
How? Does the U.S. military really want to do anything about the wreckage of a Chinese rocket? In the eyes of older drivers, if the U.S. military did, it would set an extremely dangerous precedent.
The old driver said yesterday that when the Long March V B rocket was first launched last year, the West had speculated that its wreckage was “one of the largest out-of-control man-made objects that could pose a threat to the ground”. A year later, the Western media even “change soup do not change medicine” surface kung fu is too lazy to do, directly to last year’s words to this year to hype another round.
But this time the Pentagon stepped in. First, the U.S. Space Command jumped out on the 4th, said, “At any time to track and report to the public the location of China’s Long March 5 B rocket debris, the out-of-control rocket debris is expected to return to Earth around May 8, but it is not possible to determine the location of its fall to Earth.” ”
Asked at a news conference Friday whether the Pentagon is prepared to intercept and crush the wreckage of a Chinese rocket if necessary to mitigate the threat it may pose, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, “I think it’s too early to find out what we can do before we have a better understanding of where the rocket is going to fall to the ground.” So I don’t want to speculate on what the Defense Department might or won’t do. ”
The media went a step further and made the assumption to the White House, “If the wreckage of a Chinese rocket causes harm to the United States, will the United States ask China for compensation?” White House press secretary Jane Psaki declined to comment Friday. We haven’t reached the time to discuss it yet. We’re tracking its location through the U.S. Space Command, hoping we don’t end up doing that. ”
Do you want to intercept the wreckage of a Chinese rocket? Obviously, the Americans didn’t say anything about it.
CNN said On The 6th, The United States Has Demonstrated The ability To Shoot Down The DebriS Of Spacecraft Entering The Atmosphere. Indeed, technically alone, the U.S. military is equipped with a variety of anti-missile systems capable of intercepting and destroying space objects.
It is well known that the first step in carrying out an intercept is to accurately track the trajectory of the spacecraft. Compared to intercontinental missiles, which have only a few dozen minutes of flight time, the remnance of the Long March V B rocket will travel in space for several days along a relatively fixed trajectory, so the U.S. space surveillance system has plenty of time to track and predict the flight path of the rocket’s wreckage and develop an intercept program.
From the technical indicators of the U.S. anti-missile system, intercepting rocket debris outside the atmosphere is also completely free of problems. In 2008, for example, the U.S. Navy’s Lake Erie missile cruiser launched an improved Standard-3 Block IA missile, successfully destroying the out-of-control USA-193 reconnaissance satellite. The intercept altitude at that time was 247 km. The U.S. Land-based Interceptor (GBI) has a maximum launch height of 2,000 kilometers, enough to intercept low- and medium-orbiting satellites. There is more than enough to deal with the wreckage of the Long March V B rocket, which is currently operating at an altitude of 300 km.
As for the problem of the runaway rollover of rocket debris in flight, it is not even a problem for modern anti-missile interceptors. The new Standard-3 missile, for example, uses a kinetic-energy anti-personnel warhead that can target in space, reorient itself and strike at high speed. This kind of counter-orbiting long-range ballistic missile is used against rocket debris naturally.
However, the old driver has to remind that whether the United States or Russia, the previous anti-satellite tests can be aimed at the country’s end-of-life satellites, but never heard of other countries” scrap satellites as targets.
Recall the 2008 U.S. intercept, when the Pentagon gave the argument that “the defunct USA-193 satellite carries thousands of kilograms of toxic fuel that, if allowed to fall freely, would pose a serious threat to the health of those nearby.”
The old driver wanted to ask, since the satellite is so dangerous, if the same anti-satellite capabilities of Russia’s “urgent justice” to destroy it first, what will be the consequences? Will the United States thank you?
The answer is clearly no. The reason is simple: how dangerous is the spacecraft, and who will judge it? If the United States decides on its own that the wreckage of the Long March V B rocket is “dangerous” and forces an interceptor to destroy it, can Russia next time also consider a U.S. satellite ‘s orbit “dangerous” and shoot it down? As soon as this precedent is set, the consequences are unimaginable.
Fortunately, space professionals around the world, including the United States, do not currently believe that the wreckage of the Long March V B rocket “really poses a great threat.” Jonathan McDowell, an American astrophysicist, says people don’t have to deal with it. “The likelihood of debris causing some damage or hitting someone is low, and from a personal threat point of view, I don’t lose sleep for even a second.”
Fortunately, only some Western media have been speculating about the threat of the wreckage of the Long March V B rocket for the time being.
Fortunately, the Pentagon is only saying for now that it is “doing its best to keep track of it closely.”