China’s Moon Shot Rains Rocket Parts on the Countryside

China sent their unmanned lunar probe Chang’e II (nickname: Moon Safari?) skywards last Friday, packing the usual assortment of stereo cameras, laser spectrometers and microwave detectors to scour the lunar surface as it orbits the moon for six months or better.  What it didn’t take with it, however, was a few large chunks of its launch rocket.  These fell to earth two days later, landing in a rural part of Jiangxi, China. Villagers thought they were being struck by an earthquake as the debris crashed down.  Luckily, no one was hurt and no structures were impacted.  While snarkier blogs than this one will no doubt bag on China’s devil-may-care approach to space debris management, I’m just glad no one was hurt.  Besides, there’s not a space program out there (not even Mr. Veer’s), that has its hands completely clean. Remember Skylab?  Australia does. Take a closer look at the above […]