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China's first space station to – ahem – de-orbit in late March

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Coat

So its all gone a bit...

Pete Tong?

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Flame

Skylab 2.0 ?

If so, I hope the Chinese pay their littering fine a bit quicker than the yanks did.

http://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/australia/australia-once-fined-nasa-400-for-littering.aspx

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Even if I would be in the right place at the right time the weather would make sure I couldn't see a thing. It always does.

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The other big firework display

Falcon heavy static test fire will be (delayed again?) at 21:00 UTC tonight.

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Mushroom

Re: The other big firework display

An optimistic upvote. As I hope it's fireworks in the "working, great attempt" way. Though even SpaceX are expecting this one to URD*. Butt hey will learn a lot from it either way.

*Unscheduled rapid deconstruction.

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Re: The other big firework display

> Though even SpaceX are expecting this one to URD*. Butt hey will learn a lot from it either way.

What?! You seriously think SpaceX are expecting this to fail? They have lower confidence than usual, and a failure (RUD, Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly, is the usual acronym) is possible, but saying they expect it is a stretch.

Also, But. Nobody likes finding random butts on their screen.

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Re: The other big firework display

Nobody likes finding random butts on their screen.

A lot of people who use PornHub would disagree with you.

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Re: The other big firework display

"But they expect" Sorry, quite a lot of typos today. :D Thanks for the "RUD" correction.

It was mainly Elon saying he expects it to explode on the pad. But his job is mainly expectation management for investors etc. So aiming high internally, but not getting people too invested on unproven designs just yet.

I am awaiting the big 3 triple landing scene that may come some time this or next year!

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Coming home

"Since Tiaingong-1's weight is 8,500kg and it measures 10.5m by 3.4m, there's a chance that some debris may make it to Earth."

I'm pretty sure it will all make it to Earth, one way or another. Where else can it go?

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Re: Coming home

Generally, the bits that have vaporised are no longer classified as debris.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coming home

Swindon.

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Re: Coming home

That's a trifle unfair. Whilst there are undoubtedly parts of Swindon that would be significantly improved by a direct strike from a falling space station (the Brunel Shopping Centre being one such place) there are some lovely places, one of which possibly could be the Intel offices which will be needed intact to deal with the impacts of Meltdown and Spectre with UK punters.

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Re: Coming home

I think the spectre of a burning up satellite landing near their offices would mean they'd have a bigger meltdown problem to deal with.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coming home

Swindon is somewhat north of 42.7N...

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Re: Coming home

That's what Swindon wants you to think.

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Re: Coming home

Swindon isn't real.It's all part of the conspiracy.

Something to do with the earth being flat, because of chemtrails, obama and vaccines

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Re: Coming home

"Swindon isn't real.It's all part of the conspiracy."

Swindon is real. You're thinking of Slough.

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Joke

Re: Coming home

Swindon is real. You're thinking of Slough.

Anyone thinking of Slough probably needs to seek medical advice.

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Re: Coming home

I'm pretty sure it will all make it to Earth, one way or another. Where else can it go?

Since you asked...

Given that:

1) Tiaingong-1 is made of a variety of materials, including polymers. The material that's vaporized will generally be converted to oxides. In the case of polymers, that's mostly carbon dioxide and the horribly dangerous dihydrogen monoxide. Those oxides will disperse into Earth's atmosphere, while other oxides (like aluminum oxide) and debris will continue to Earth's surface. And,

2) Earth's escape velocity is sufficiently high to retain most of its atmosphere over geological timescales, unlike Mars, but there is ongoing loss of light elements, particularly hydrogen. (Earth is currently losing about 3kg of hydrogen per second from its atmosphere.) And,

3) Water is mildly susceptible to photolysis (sp?) from high energy UV above the ozone layer, freeing hydrogen to the exosphere, then

...some of Tiaingong-1 will escape into space after vaporization. A quick back-of-the-envelop calculation making unsubstantiated estimates of Tiaingong-1's polymeric mass fraction concludes several bajillionths** of a gram will escape Earth into space.

**My 5-year old niece assures me this is a valid measurement for small quantities.

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Re: Coming home

Slough. Didn't Betjeman write a poem about this?

Come friendly deorbiting Chinese space station and fall on Slough! It isn't fit for humans now,

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Re: Coming home

Swindon

Oi!

(I would concede that it does have a somewhat tenuous link to reality. But at least it's not Gloucester..)

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Re: Coming home

Swindon is somewhat north of 42.7N...

Most of the time yes. But when people are not watching who knows what it does?

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Re: Coming home

Swindon isn't real.

Oh come on - there are not enough drugs in all the world to power an imagination that would come up with Swindon!

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Windows

Re: Coming home

Now someone's knocking Gloucester? Hang about.

Ok, it would probably be a much better looking city if they'd not knocked down all the old half timbered houses and replaced them with concrete shit in the 60's, but at least it's not Swindon.

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Coat

Re: Coming home

At least if it's heading towards Milton Keynes then Superman will intervene.

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Re: Coming home

"Anyone thinking of Slough probably needs to seek medical advice."

Indeed, Slough is so awful that the local Comp. was in special measures till they had the bright idea of renaming it Eton.

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Re: Coming home

> "Oh come on - there are not enough drugs in all the world to power an imagination that would come up with Swindon!"

As an ignorant Yank I was curious about all the hubbub over Swindon, so I skimmed the Wikipedia entry and remain mystified. Just what is it about that place that generates so much Sturm und Drang among the El Reg readers? I must know!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coming home

https://www.ilivehere.co.uk/swindon.html

Not just the register, (also includes obligatory Slough references)

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/other_subjects/2386504-Moving-to-SWINDON

Only Redeeming feature, (I say redeeming, I probably should say this is the only interesting thing in Swindon and it's a roundabout)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Roundabout_(Swindon)

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Mushroom

Re: Coming home @ac

Nah.

Slough.

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Holmes

Re: Coming home

"I think the spectre of a burning up satellite landing near their offices would mean they'd have a bigger meltdown problem to deal with."

IYAM it might make the buggers a little more careful with their own quality control.

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Go

Re: Coming home

"Swindon is somewhat north of 42.7N..."

We can dream, can't we?

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Boffin

Re: Coming home @cray74

+1 for noting the extreme toxicity of dihydrogen monoxide.

I notice however that your detailed calculation suggests that you would expect that 33.33333333 percent approximately of all expotential letters would escape the earth's atmosphere.

Shirly that exceeds a mere several bajillionths** of a gram?

** perhaps you were meaning to use elReg units rather than deprecated obsolete ones?

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Boffin

Re: Coming home

No, Big John, Console yourself. it's not because you are ignorant, it's just because you are, shall we say, Left Pondian.

There are some things about English, and being English, that are beyond the understanding of lesser minds.

Certain places have, shall we say, special significance for us. Like Neasden, or Mornington Crescent.

Just accept it. we have.

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Re: Coming home

If it hits Swindon, just so long as it doesn't destroy the statue of Lola Vavoom, all's well..

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Re: Coming home

It was certainly north of the M4 earlier today as I was there.

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Re: Coming home

Sheer jealousy mainly because they don't live there but of course there is Swindon's epic Magic Roundabout (oh just Google it!) which is nearly unique in the UK (and would absolutely terrify most American drivers who freak at the prospect of a normal roundabout).

Disclaimer, in don't live in Swindon but live sufficiently close to appreciate it from a suitable distance.

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Alert

Re: Coming home

According to the map, it could land on Manhattan, possibly Ground Zero. Which would then become Ground Zero-Zero.

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per the piccy it seems to coast over Spain

The sky is falling on our heads! Any amount of it hit earth in a heavily populated area and its going to do damage.

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Alien

Re: per the piccy it seems to coast over Spain

Surely not! After all, if things falling from a great height could do damage, then Lester and the SPB would *never* have been given permission to launch, and return, LOHAN to Spain.

Oh, wait...

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Re: per the piccy it seems to coast over Spain

Yep! Before the end of the month I am going to dig my old crash helmet out.

I don't suppose there's an app for satellite debris?

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Re: per the piccy it seems to coast over Spain

I don't suppose there's an app for satellite debris?

Maybe, but: https://xkcd.com/937/

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Mushroom

Re: per the piccy it seems to coast over Spain

Genuine question. Shirly they'd still have some fuel on board to adjust it's de-orbit and ultimate landing zone. They did that with SkyLab didn't they??PP

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What's the latest on ISS deorbiting?

I haven't heard of the latest end-of-line.

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Reports suggesting that there are still crew on board...

They've been named as

- Captain Sum Ting Wong

- Wi Tu Lo

- Ho Lee Fuk

- Bang Ding Ow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmclgO6w0C0

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They've been named as.....

Please....the 20th century called sir. It would like it's 'humour' back.

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Stop

Re: They've been named as.....

Unlikely. The PC Brigade keeps hogging all the lines 24/7.

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Total

Inability

To

Support

Usual

Periapsis

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Anonymous Coward

North vs South

If it hits the 42.7S side there is a lot more ocean for it to land in, but it could be nasty for the New Zealanders

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Memories of Skylab coming down in '79.

And ManicMiner's Skylab Landing Bay...

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Murican serfs

What's with the sneery tone of the article. The Chinese have the ability to get people into orbit something America and the other WASP remnant nations can no longer manage.

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