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Delta Rocket Crashes In Mongolia

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the chicken-little-was-an-optimist dept.

The Military 53

Dr La writes "Two metal objects, one cylindrical and a smaller round one, crashed near Buren Soum in the Tuv province of Mongolia, in an empty field, on 19 February. They are parts of an American Delta II rocket stage (nr. 35939, 2009-052C) that launched the military STSS Demo 1 & 2 satellites in September 2009. Both articles linked above say that the larger of the two objects is 7.5 meters in diameter, but in this photo it looks more like 7.5 feet. It is marked with the serial number '02728.' (The military STSS program is intended for space-based detection and tracking of missiles.) In the months leading up to the February 19 orbital decay over Mongolia, the fall of the rocket stage was followed by amateur satellite trackers. Based on their final orbit determinations just hours before the decay, the decay must have occurred near 3:32 UTC on February 19."

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Yeah this happened. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31303656)

It hit me on the head dammit!

How do you say... (2, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31303676)

Sanford and Son in Mongolian?

Re:How do you say... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31303826)

Dang you're an ol'timer!

Re:How do you say... (2, Informative)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31303948)

I guess you mean "Steptoe and Son", the original.

Re:How do you say... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31304384)

Cor you're a geezer!

space debris (0, Offtopic)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31303686)

This is one of the few cases where a space tether isn't the best option for disposal of space debris as this object was much too large to burn up in the atmosphere. With electrodynamic tethers, you can de-orbit debris although I would imagine that it would be fairly difficult to control where it deorbits. This kind of debris is probably best dealt with by using a space tether to raise the orbit before the satellite becomes non-functional. Although in the case of rocket stages like the ones that apparently landed in a field, a few explosive charges to break the object into more manageable pieces before it re-enters dangerously might be in order.

Re:space debris (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31303748)

You will be modded "interesting" or "insightful" simply because you are bandying around wild technical terms that make it sound like you know what you're talking about (to people who know nothing about rockets). Yet the truth is nothing you say is grounded in any kind of relationship to the real world. Except maybe blowing the thing into smaller parts. But tethers? What are you smoking?

Re:space debris (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31303812)

Here ya go. [wikipedia.org] Basic EM physics. Drag a conductive wire through a magnetic field and the field induces a voltage potential in the conductor. Applying the right hand rule to the system results in the induced potential forming a magnetic field to oppose the one that created it and thus results in a drag force which acts on the conductor and ultimately causes the orbit to decay.

Re:space debris (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31303878)

Deploying a tether isn't going to be easy because cables in microgravity tend to twist back into the shape they had on the spool. If you put a big weight on the end and push it away hard enough gravity will eventually pull the tether straight but overall it might be cheaper on the mass budget to use a solid rocket motor.

If guidance on a dead vehicle is an issue you could build a simple drag brake using a big Mylar balloon. Something like the echo satellites. You need just enough gas inside to inflate an envelope. And when the gas escapes the envelope will make a pretty good drag brake anyway.

Re:space debris (0, Offtopic)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31303936)

Deploying a tether isn't going to be easy because cables in microgravity tend to twist back into the shape they had on the spool.

Actually a shape memory alloy [wikipedia.org] wire would unfurl to a straight position when heated slightly due to a crystal phase transition in the alloy that relieves strain.

If guidance on a dead vehicle is an issue you could build a simple drag brake using a big Mylar balloon

I believe that that would work for relatively minor couse corrections but not so much ditching the debris into the ocean instead of the middle of a continent.

Re:space debris (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31304258)

Plus with the tons of space debris we have floating out there would the odds of the tether being cut not be pretty high? Sorry I can't find the link ATM but the last picture showing the amount of space debris we are currently tracking was just insane, and that doesn't count all the bullet or smaller sized pieces that have broken off of sats over the years. So wouldn't any long cord hanging around near Earth most likely end up getting hit?

Re:space debris (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31304278)

wouldn't any long cord hanging around near Earth most likely end up getting hit?

A tether was tested from the Shuttle and it did break at some point but I thought the problem was heating. If you want to try the magnetic field trick your tether will have to carry a lot of current and heating in vacuum can be a problem.

Re:space debris (1)

Usually Unlucky (1598523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31307914)

Space debris is a problem, but not THAT big of a problem. I mean think of the vast size of the earth and the vast volume of area which satellites inhabit, and then think of how little we actually put up there. Those pictures you see make every piece of debris look like they are the size of Belgium.

Re:space debris (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31306650)

You do understand that you failed to tie your above post and all of the ones following it to the topic of the article, right?

It's too bad, because it could have been somewhat informative if you had deorbited your brain from whatever it is high on long enough to communicate on the same wavelength as the rest of the readers.

Decay happens over a period of time (2, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31303690)

Not at a precise moment in time.

before the decay, the decay must have occurred near 3:32 UTC on February 19."

Probably occurred near 3:25, and 3:45 too, and probably yesterday, and the day before and the day before and pretty much the entire time between when the fuel stopped producing thrust and the time it hit the ground.

Re:Decay happens over a period of time (0, Redundant)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31304002)

I estimate that the site of the fall is approximately 47.0 N, 105.2 E. Our
final elset, available at the following URL, has the object passing close to
the site within a few minutes of 03:32 UTC on Feb 19. The elements are based
on observations by Tim Luton on Feb 18 near 23:30 UTC, and Jim Nix and Brad
Young one rev later, on Feb 19 near 00:58 UTC.

3:32 was the time that the object was predicted to be in the area of the field in which it crashed. Presumably the object wouldn't take too long to make its final decent (when it actually re-entered the atmosphere instead of remaining in what is essentially a decaying orbit)

Not crushed - terminal velocity? (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31303722)

It seems surprising that the tank isn't crushed, but other tanks have come down from space [ecoble.com] without being crushed flat.

Sketchy evidence? (2, Funny)

1 a bee (817783) | more than 4 years ago | (#31303742)

I'm no expert in spaceships and such, so all I can go on are the linked articles. This passage from the Mongol News, however (the only article I could find that mentions anything about a Delta rocket) is not terribly trust inspiring:

According to a team comprising specialists from defense, emergency and astrology, who inspected the object, the two objects described by local people as meteoroids, were parts of U.S delivery rocket Delta-2.

I for one would take this with a pinch of salt. Especially if it comes from an astrologer, or from one who can't tell one from an astronomer.

Re:Sketchy evidence? (1)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31313112)

I for one would take this with a pinch of salt. Especially if it comes from an astrologer, or from one who can't tell one from an astronomer.

It could be that they do know the difference, but their language doesn't discriminate between the two. Chinese astrology isn't anywhere near as much concerned with stars and planets as Western astrology is.

Could not connect to the database server (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31303800)

It seems the UB post has been slashdotted.

The squashed thing hasn't disturbed the ground at all. I wouldn't expect a crater but a few displaced rocks would be expected. Thats what happened on Mars when the rover backshells impacted anyway. So maybe somebody dragged it to the site where the pictures were taken. It certainly looks like it came down with a hell of a thump.

Also the sphere beside the squashed thing looks like it would have either been previously inside or attached to the larger object, or it would have rolled and bounced away. The picture looks somewhat staged for that reason.

Definitely orbital or launcher debris though.

Re:Could not connect to the database server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31304252)

The squashed thing hasn't disturbed the ground at all. I wouldn't expect a crater but a few displaced rocks would be expected. Thats what happened on Mars when the rover backshells impacted anyway. So maybe somebody dragged it to the site where the pictures were taken. It certainly looks like it came down with a hell of a thump.

Clearly, things that fall from space burn up or create impact craters. Things that crash land from space generally tend to be intact. The question is not what country this "satellite" came from, but which world.

Re:Could not connect to the database server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31304452)

Even metal bounces after a ~200 kilometer fall

Re:Could not connect to the database server (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31305316)

I've been to Mongolia. In the steppes and desert areas the ground is sometimes a *very* hard surface. Also it is possible the objects bounced or rolled a few metres before coming to a stop. There's not quite enough resolution in the pictures to tell for certain, but the lower left corner of the upper photo (below where the guy is bending over to look at the debris) looks a bit like there is a shallow pit and some whitish, crushed rock. It's also February -- the ground is probably frozen. In this picture [www.mk.ru] you can see patches of snow.

Why don't they just send it into the sun? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31303852)

A few years back, when I was living in Puerto Rico, I had to take care of my uncle's dog for a while. He was a big Golden Retriever and his name was Sasu. After about 3 days, I was extremely turned on and without a boyfriend, so this dog in my pussy seemed like a pretty good idea.

One day, I decided to go for a walk and take the dog with me. I was conveniently wearing a skirt and once we reached a pretty secluded street, I pulled up my skirt and got on all fours. At first the dog just sniffed my butt around but once he got the idea, he got on top of me and started humping my butt through my panties. He kept banging against my clit and my juices were flowing to pretty much everywhere. I didn't let him inside me yet because I was too afraid. I mean, think about it. That's pretty fucking gross.

But anyways. Whenever I got back home, I sat on the front porch. My uncle had come back and was ready to pick up the dog but he was inside talking to my sister. My uncle told me to stay outside with Sasu for a while, so I did. While we were out there, I was sitting on a bench with my legs spread open and Sasu kept trying to stick his nose in my crotch. Usually, I'd push his face away and close my legs, but I was extremely wet and was dripping everywhere. So I let Sasu lick it up. Since I had never been eaten out before, I really didn't know that what I was doing was sexual in the least, but I realized that it felt really good and was only making me wetter. Even after I came Sasu was still licking it all up and the front of my skirt was soaked in a combination of my pussy juice and Sasu's saliva. Once I had to go back inside, I just twisted my skirt to the side and went to my room to change.

I wonder how soon before the technology (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31303880)

from that rocket makes its way into Chinese appliances that we buy at Wal-mart.

Re:I wonder how soon before the technology (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31303890)

I could believe that an EPROM or two might make their way to China's own space programme. I recall that the USSR once aborted a Soyuz launch on Chinese territory and had to rush to recover the vehicle.

Re:I wonder how soon before the technology (1)

tloh (451585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31308230)

How much do you think the Mongolians would demand for the tech transfer? You do know enough about geography to be aware they are two separate sovereign countries, right?

On the other hand, they might value the thing a little differently than one would a tech asset.

from the article:

According to a team comprising specialists from defense, emergency and astrology, who inspected the object....

Next US war (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31303886)

On February 19th Mongolia declared war on the US after a missile attack that left one yak dead and several others startled. On February 20th Mongolia surrendered to the US and demanded war reparations totaling 20 billion dollars as well as one yak and roughly 10 gallons of milk lost from the startled yaks.

Re:Next US war (3, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31304336)

Not money. For yaks offed, Smirnoff!

Re: Yakov Smirnoff! (1)

newdsfornerds (899401) | more than 4 years ago | (#31306740)

I just got it. Nice LUL!

Re: Yakov Smirnoff! (1)

newdsfornerds (899401) | more than 4 years ago | (#31308816)

I got it! LULS

Re:Next US war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31311622)

That took me a second to get (hey it's late here...)
Very clever, sir.

Re:Next US war (0, Offtopic)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31304842)

On February 21st the United States refused to acknowledge the surrender of Mongolia, claiming that for too long yaks have been infringing on copyrights and patents owned by American cows on mooing and milk production respectively. It announced that yaks are the hallmark of rogue, terrorist nations such as Mongolia, demanded that Mongolia switch its bovines immediately to American cows which could be purchased at reasonable rates from America or it's European partners, and further demanded that Mongolia license the rights to pay the additional fee for milk production and mooing (at discounted herd rates). Additionally the Department of Homeland Security has placed all yaks on the no-fly list.

The ball is in Mongolia's court.

Re:Next US war (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31312814)

On February 20th Mongolia surrendered to the US and demanded war reparations totaling 20 billion dollars

They could also bill US for littering.

Rocket Crashes? (2, Informative)

Woek (161635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31303928)

That title is just a tiny bit sensationalist... I had images failed launch flashing through my mind. A final stage dropping to earth was a bit of a disappointment :-/

Re:Rocket Crashes? (2)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31304014)

Heck what worried me was whether or not people were killed by the crash. Fortunately no one was hurt but it could have been tragic news. Most of the planet is reasonably uninhabited (ocean, desert, sparsely populated areas like siberia etc.) and so most of the time these objects won't fall into anywhere that you'd consider important like a city. Although wit hthe sheer quantity of garbage up there, I'm sure it is bound to happen at some point.

Re:Rocket Crashes? (2, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31304890)

Fortunately no one was hurt but it could have been tragic news. Most of the planet is reasonably uninhabited

I don't know about this Delta, but some of the rockets we send up are hydrazine powered. It can take a year for somebody to die from casual hydrazine hydrate contact.

I wonder if these rocket sections are appropriately marked with skulls and crossbones, or such markings could even be seen upon landing. Or even if any of the toxins we employ can survive re-entry.

If something fell out of space near me I'd be sorely tempted to check it out - we can't expect most of the world's population to understand that's not always a good idea.

Re:Rocket Crashes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31306832)

citation needed. wikipedia says one person died
6 months after contact. what's your source?

Oh No! (0, Offtopic)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31303970)

This just might bring forth the Ghingis Khan II.

Ain't that how the Ghingis Khan Classic came about?

In an empty field? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31304282)

Interesting that the teaser lists that the rocket fell in an empty field. Mongolia is high ranked among the lowest population density in the world [1], and home to a large part of the Gobi Desert - it would be pretty amazing if the rocket did NOT hit an empty field there.

As someone who has actually been there a few years back, pretty much all fields are either empty with random horses grazing, or littered with old Russian 60's farming equipment in decay, oh, and I see the websites are 1) hosted in Mongolia; 2) not surprisingly slashdotted

(No offence against Mongolia, I love the country and the people, best wishes to all friends at the Mongolian Technical University from my stay there)

[1] http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/populations/ctydensityl.htm

That Sure Was A Close One! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31304418)

Wow, that was a near thing! Good thing this landing occurred in this empty field, otherwise it might have.... uhhhh.... fallen in the next empty field?

Oh lawd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31304696)

The military STSS program is intended for space-based detection and tracking of missiles.

The irony.

Lucky it landed somewhere remote (1, Insightful)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31304968)

Lucky it landed somewhere so remote. On day a some rocket parts will land somewhere with a high population i fear.

---

Space Craft [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

What happens next time? (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31304992)

In the months leading up to the February 19 orbital decay over Mongolia, the fall of the rocket stage was followed by amateur satellite trackers.

And what happens when one of these drops on Beijing? Or Vancouver? Or San Francisco? I thought the flight paths were calculated so the boosters dropped in the ocean?

I used to think where they came down was no accident. Now I'm wondering if they're just playing the odds.

Re:What happens next time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31307794)

I'm wondering if they're just playing the odds.

Welcome to rocket science, my friend.

Re:What happens next time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31353560)

Yes, the guys who're launching rockets are really should ask them what if their rockets fall on their own heads. What would happened if that junk killed someone?

Hits in Southern Africa as well... (1)

nicc777 (614519) | more than 4 years ago | (#31305356)

A little while ago [csir.co.za] , but still interesting I think.

Obligatory (1)

PapaBoojum (232247) | more than 4 years ago | (#31306096)

Space Junk (updated)

she was walking all alone
down the street in the alley
her name was Sally
she never saw it
when she was hit by space junk
    in New York, Miami Beach
    heavy metal fell in Cuba
    Mongolia, Saudi Arabia
    on christmas eve said NORAD
    a Soviet Sputnik hit Africa
    India, Venezuela
    (in Texas, Kansas)
    it's falling fast Peru too
    it keeps coming
and now i'm mad about space junk
i'm all burned out about space junk
oooh walk & talk about space junk
it smashed my baby's head
and now my Sally's dead

Why didn't it burn up? (1)

newdsfornerds (899401) | more than 4 years ago | (#31306656)

So, why didn't it burn up? Not enough velocity? Not enough mass?

Re:Why didn't it burn up? (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 4 years ago | (#31306736)

I would assume "Not enough Velocity".

Track the rockets! (1)

Hoysala (1689222) | more than 4 years ago | (#31308702)

Preferably through land-based detection and tracking of rockets.

Just happened to have a cannonball handy? (1)

kimgkimg (957949) | more than 4 years ago | (#31312014)

What's up with the cannonball? So they just happened to carry a supply of these in the truck?

Re:Just happened to have a cannonball handy? (1)

Dr La (1342733) | more than 4 years ago | (#31313748)

It is a spherical auxiliary fuel tank.
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