Broadcast 3687 Hotel Mars with Dr. Jonathan McDowell

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Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Jonathan McDowell, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  Chinese Long March 5B uncontrolled rocket reentry.

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John Batchelor and I welcomed Dr. Johnathan McDowell to the program to discuss the Chinese Long March 5B rocket design and the uncontrolled reentry which took place near the Maldives Islands.  Our guest addressed why the Long March 5B design intentionally created this reentry problem and risk, the Chinese attitude about it and ways to mitigate the problem with rocket launches.  Jonathan was also asked to compare the Long March 5B design and uncontrolled reentry with a recent SpaceX Falcon 9 launch which produced space debris and an uncontrolled reentry near Seattle.  Don't miss what he had to say about the SpaceX design and event as compared to the Chinese Long March 5B event.  Other issues discussed included the 1972 spacecraft liability convention, the size of the Long March 5B that reentered the atmosphere, and the choices China had when designing the rocket and its needed performance.  Our guest also talked about future Long March 5B launches and the chances for China to mitigate the problem or do the same over again.

Please post your comments/questions for this discussion on our blog for this show.

You can email Mr. Batchelor or Dr. McDowell through me at Dr. McDowell can also be reached at his Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics faculty page.




Chinese Long March 5B uncontrolled return to Earth

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11 May 2021 John Batchelor, Dr. David Livingston, Dr. Jonathan McDowell
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