back to article China pollutes ocean with bloody big rocket

China's latest Long March-5 Y2 the launch has gone awry for reasons not yet made public. The launch took place from a spaceport in Hainan province. The rocket was carrying an experimental satellite, and the 57-metre long booster left the launch site without incident. Youtube Video Shortly afterwards, Xinhua tersely Tweeted …

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  1. larokus

    Elsewhere reported flight aborted one hour after launch...

    It would surely be space debris and not ocean debris that long into the flight.... But I wasn't in the control room so what do I know.

    1. Steve Todd

      Re: Elsewhere reported flight aborted one hour after launch...

      It depends on what was one hour after launch, the report or the abort. If the latter then you'd expect it to be comfortably in orbit. The former could have been an abort within minutes of launch, and the Chinese government only grudgingly admitting to the mistake somewhat later.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Elsewhere reported flight aborted one hour after launch...

        The livestream definitely showed something really high up and in orbit and people being cool about it.

        So definitely no abort before at least LEO.

        It is sad that China is still so easily butthurt about something as unsurprising as problematic hi-tech. Until they get rid of that particular asian social particularity, the path to success will be littered with lots of failures and dead corpses.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Elsewhere reported flight aborted one hour after launch...

          "Until they get rid of that particular asian social particularity, the path to success will be littered with lots of failures and dead corpses."

          That will make a nice change to the undead corpses infesting the project to date.

        2. I3N
          Pint

          Re: Elsewhere reported flight aborted one hour after launch...

          .... for government work .... https://aeon.co/essays/what-chinese-corner-cutting-reveals-about-modernity

        3. h4rm0ny

          Re: Elsewhere reported flight aborted one hour after launch...

          >>"Until they get rid of that particular asian social particularity

          Particular Asian Particularity? I'm Western and if a couple of billion dollars and years of work of mine exploded, I'd be pretty "particular" about things, too.

          1. AndyS

            Re: Elsewhere reported flight aborted one hour after launch...

            The "Particular Asian Particularity" is nothing to do with being upset when things go wrong, but rather a complete submission to authority, leading to a structural inability to question the status quo or learn properly from mistakes.

            It's been going a long time, and caused a lot of problems. This is a good read, for example, of how a perfectly good 747 was flown into the ground due to the first officer's inability to correct the actions of the pilot. Despite it being literally his job to monitor and correct the pilot, his cultural inability to do so directly caused the crash. The AAIB report, if you have time, is extremely interesting.

        4. nijam Silver badge

          Re: Elsewhere reported flight aborted one hour after launch...

          > ...and dead corpses.

          Errr?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elsewhere reported flight aborted one hour after launch...

      The first stage and the solid fuel thrusters were always destined to be ocean debris.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Elsewhere reported flight aborted one hour after launch...

        China should try mechjeb. That mod can get all sorts of weird rockets into orbit.

  2. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Returning with moon rocks - Chinese takeaway anyone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Two mars shrimps with this.

    2. dmacleo

      #3 with moon rock msg please....

  3. Gene Cash Silver badge

    proper terminology

    I believe this is referred to as an ocean-synchronous orbit.

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: proper terminology

      or aquesynchronous...

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: proper terminology

      I think we can all agree that, wherever the rocket landed landed, there was definitely a fecoventilatory-collision-incident in the control room.

      1. I3N
        Facepalm

        Re: proper terminology

        Took me all the way back to high school and Zelazny's "then the fit hit the Shan" ...

        So that was Argo ... https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2010/jan/05/hugos-lord-of-light-zelazny ....

    3. I am the liquor

      Re: proper terminology

      Getting into orbit very much follows the Douglas Adams theory of flight: you just throw yourself at the ground, but miss. Looks like on this occasion, they didn't quite get the last part right.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: proper terminology

      Hydro-braking?

  4. Big John Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Where's the kaboom?

    "Anomalies" detected during large rocket flights are usually quite exciting.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Where's the kaboom?

      Sometimes the whole village goes down the drain (warning: the audiotrack seems to suggest satan is holding a dark mass at launch time)

  5. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    For what it's worth

    in the video you might want to skip forward to 54:00. (Unless you're really interested in the delights of the local cuisine (which I'm sure is delicious)).

  6. I3N
    Pint

    Control Room Saga

    @1:07:45 in video there is a rush to find out current CNY to BTC exchange rate ...

  7. tedleaf

    Long March ?

    In this one's case,more a long swim possibly..

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Pirate

      Nah, march is fine, swimming is for losers...

  8. Potemkine! Silver badge

    All my sympathy..

    .. for the unlucky engineers who will discover the 'joy' of a longtime vacation in a Laogai camp as a reward for this failure

    1. jmarked

      Re: All my sympathy..

      Good luck to them.

    2. John Sager

      Re: All my sympathy..

      The Chinese are probably slightly more civilised than that now unless it was a really egregious & stupid mistake by someone. Now the NorKs probably have the more brutal approach, which may explain why their technical endeavours don't progress too fast.

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: All my sympathy..

        Now the NorKs probably have the more brutal approach

        The same thing happening in NK would the whole engineer's family sent in concentration camp.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/north-korea/galleries/what-you-didn-t-know-about-north-korea/there-s-a-three-generations-of-punishment-rule/

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: All my sympathy..

          Multi-generation concentration camping is not conductive to good research and only something I would recommend for the Monsanto-style "good ideas" club, politicans and lawyers.

  9. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    Long March

    Where did that come from?

    Is it the Glorious Peoples Republik on a metaphorical Long March to a space based jetsons lifestyle?

    or is it that its Litarally a Long March to orbit? or the moon? (albeit using a vehicle)

    or was it scheduled for March and now its july, so long March?

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Long March

      "Where did that come from?"

      History. Specifically Mao's "Long March"

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Long March

        Ah, thank you Alan . I felt it obviously symbolised something , but was not historically educated enough.

        1. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Long March - you read it some poetry didn't you?

          No wonder why its AI decided to initiate self-destruct!

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: Long March - you read it some poetry didn't you?

            Yes. A foundational myth of Communist China (I hear it was not as epic as Mao or Otto Braun wrote it down, really)

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Long March

        History. Specifically Mao's "Long March"

        Ah, so not named after the Vangelis track then?

  10. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Unhappy

    How do you say "Oh, CRAP" in Mandarin?

    don't ya just HATE it when your rocket does *that* ???

    And it also shows how hard it REALLY IS for all of the other space companies and agencies who are managing to get things into orbit anyway.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: How do you say "Oh, CRAP" in Mandarin?

      哦,哈哈!

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: How do you say "Oh, CRAP" in Mandarin?

      神聖的睾丸

      1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        Re: How do you say "Oh, CRAP" in Mandarin?

        聖潔的廢話

  11. Cuddles Silver badge

    50% failure rate

    It's doing better than Ariane 5 was by this point, so hopefully they'll sort out the problems before the more interesting Moon and Mars missions get going.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: 50% failure rate

      It's just a little disingenous (to both sides) to make a comparison between two rockets - one of which has launched twice with one success and one failure, and one which has made 94 launches with 2 failures and 2 partial failures.

      Not exactly apples and oranges or statistically significant results....

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: 50% failure rate

        Ariane 5 also hasn't had a failure for almost 15 years, with 80 successful launches in a row as of the most recent last week.

  12. Gordon Pryra

    China pollutes ocean with American manufacturing

    There, fixed it

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Don't you mean pollutes Murrica with Chinese manufacturing?

  13. wolfetone Silver badge

    Do you think the controller was wondering what was going wrong, then realised he was looking at the wrong screen and was playing KSP instead?

  14. Mike Richards Silver badge

    That's what happens

    When you fit your rocket with cheap Chinese fakes.

    Seriously, better luck next time - it's always exciting to know another Moon mission is in the offing.

  15. MajorTom

    Long March 5 - Less polluting than before!

    Apparently they have developed the Long March series, from types 5 on up, to use LOX/RP-1 (Kerosene) for the boosters and LOX/H2 for both the first and second stages.

    These propellants are so much cleaner than what they have been using until very recently, that is, hypergolics for all stages (nasty, polluting chemicals). The new propellants, being mostly cryogenic (except for the RP-1) are harder to handle. But pretty much everybody else, India included, uses the relatively non-polluting propellants almost exclusively these days. Maybe we'll soon be seeing the end of hypergolics for rocket stages.

    But if the spacecraft hit the ocean with any of its thruster fuel intact, yeah, that would have been polluting.

  16. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Question about polluting

    Serious question...

    To what extent do the large rockets deplete ozone? I suppose H2/LOX is better than RP-1/LOX and both I suppose are better than the metal (aluminum?) perchlorates from solid rocket boosters, but is there any significant impact or are the flights too few to matter?

    I know no NOx is produced in the engines proper but are the exhaust plumes sufficiently hot to generate NOx?

    Thx!

    BC

    1. MajorTom

      Re: Question about polluting

      NOx was in the exhaust streams of hypergolic fueled rockets, and this was an ozone depleter. So moving from hypergolics stopped that problem. Today there is still concern about Cl present in solid rocket exhaust as it attacks ozone and the effect (ozone hole) lasts an hour or so. Could become a global issue if rocket launches increase in the future.

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