An uncontrolled Chinese rocket forces the airspace in Catalonia to be closed for 40 minutes

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An uncontrolled Chinese rocket forces to close the air space in Catalonia for 40 minutes

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Catalunya and other autonomous communitiesThe northern half of Spain have closed this Friday morning airspace due to the uncontrolled passage of a Chinese Long March rocket 5B, which has finally fallen in an area of ​​the South Pacific Ocean at 11:01 a.m., peninsular time. The national air navigation manager Enaire has followed the recommendations of the European Aviation Safety Agency (AESA) and has restricted all flights from the airports ofBarcelona andGirona – Costa Bravafrom 09:38 a.m. and 10:18 a.m. hours. The preventive closure has also affected the infrastructures of Ibiza, Aragón, and Navarra, La Rioja, and Castilla y León.

Air traffic has been restored at the scheduled time, but the effects will last for El Prat – Barcelona airport throughout the day in the form of delays. Until noon, 157 passenger and cargo flights of the 759 scheduled for today have suffered delays, Enaire has detailed. In the infrastructure of Girona – Costa Brava, two operations have had delays of an hour and a half. Reus, for its part, has not suffered any setbacks because its operations did not coincide with the altered time slot.

There are no laws governing re-entries into the atmosphere

China launched a new campaign. this Monday the fourth and last Long March 5B (CZ-5B) rocket from the Wenchang Space Launch Center, in Hainan. Like the other three, this Friday it has re-entered the Earth's atmospherein an uncontrolled way. Something surprising, but common, since there is no law or treaty that governs how spacecraft have to re-enter Earth. In fact, it is not the first time that the world has held its breath due to the uncontrolled fall of a space rocket.

An uncontrolled Chinese rocket forces to close the air space in Catalonia for 40 minutes

Final destination: South Pacific Ocean

The area affected by the trajectory of the rocket has involved much of the northern half of the Ibé peninsula ;rica, from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. Along these lines, the Lisboa airport has also temporarily ceased operations as a preventive measure.

“The uncontrolled entry into the atmosphere of the Chinese space object has been monitored at all times by various national and international organizations and institutions,” Enaire specified after the events took place . Until then, the only authority that had warned of the restriction of the returned had been Civil of the Generalitat de Catalunya, who made a tweet at 9:07 am.

The rocket was expected to enter the Earth's atmosphere this weekend, specifically at 4:17 a.m. peninsular time on Saturday, according to calculations provided by The Aerospace Corporation. Initially, the impact zone covered practically the entire planet, from Southern Europe to the whole of Africa, passing through Australia and the entire American continent from North America to the south. .

However, the latest predictions of the US corporation advanced the re-entry and placed it at 12:20 p.m. in Spain this Friday with a margin of error of three hours. The final destination, the Indian Ocean. However, these estimates have not been fulfilled either, since it has finally fallen in the South Pacific.

Large footprint of space debris

The AESA has reported that the remains of the Long March 5Bthey are some of the largest space debris on record to date. The European agency has specified that the artifact weighed between 17 and 23 tons and was 30 meters long at the time. of reentry. For this reason, he has warned that dropping space junk in an uncontrolled manner “deserves careful monitoring.”

First Chinese space station

The four launches of the CZ-5B were part of the project to build the first Chinese space station, which will be located in China. finished before the end of the year and will be called Tiangong (Heavenly Palace, in Spanish). This rocket also had a specific mission: to send the Mengtian laboratory module to the small scientific city floating in space.

The docking was a success and the Mengtian, together with the central module Tianhe and another laboratory called Wentian, are already linked and the space station it has a letter T shape. In total, it weighs 70 tons and is expected to function for 15 years in a low orbit, about 400 kilometers from the Earth's surface.

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