So its all gone a bit...
Predictions are firming up for when China's Tiangong-1 spacecraft will make its final re-entry-crash-and-burn. The Chinese space station was launched in 2011 and had a two-year operational lifetime. Originally slated to make its return to Earth in 2013, its lifetime was extended to 2016. Loss of telemetry effectively ended …
> 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.
"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!
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.
> "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!
Not just the register, (also includes obligatory Slough references)
Only Redeeming feature, (I say redeeming, I probably should say this is the only interesting thing in Swindon and it's a roundabout)
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.
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.
I'm pretty sure it will all make it to Earth, one way or another. Where else can it go?
Since you asked...
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.
+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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