The ‘Long March 5B’ rocket was launched on May 5th, 2020 in the Wenchang launch center in Hainan island, China. It is also called ‘CZ-5B’ in Chinese. But unfortunately, it was returned to the earth in an uncontrolled situation on May 11th. How sad! two major drawbacks to China this year. One is COVID-19 and the other is Long March 5B rocket splash-down.
While coming to the physical properties of this Long March 5B rocket, it has 4 strapped-on liquid-fueled boosters with approximate payload Low Earth Orbit (LEO) 25,000 KG. Thrust at the ground of this CZ-5B is 10565 KN and its launch weight is 849 000 KG. And the rocket carries a prototype of China’s future deep-space crewed spacecraft.
The core stage is having 30 meters long and 5 meters of diameter and has a mass of 20 000 KG. The core stage has re-entered to earth and fell into the Atlantic ocean. An astronomer from the Harvard-Smithsonian center for astrophysics reacted to this via twitter.
CZ-5B core stage reentry confirmed down at 533 UTC, off the west coast of AfricaJonathan McDowell
During its last orbit, it flew over Los Angeles and New York City. It is a massive object that fell down from orbit in an uncontrolled manner with an inclination 41.1 degrees. And this inclination makes the core stage uncontrollable. It is the second massive space trash after the Soviet Union’s Salyut 7 space station since 1991, according to Jonathan McDowell.
Generally, low weight space objects like satellites, rockets come back to the earth’s atmosphere after their functions are not going well. Particularly in this situations like Long March 5B reenter. But when it comes to heavy weighted space objects it is a difficult job. It is more massive than other notable satellites like China’s Tiangong-1 space lab, Russia’s Phobos-Grunt Mars probe, and NASA’s UARS atmospheric research satellite.
The Long March 5B is much similar to Long March 5. They both have the same amount of Thrust that is 10565 KN and also four liquid-fueled boosters. But CZ-5B is a milestone for China’s space station. China showing special interest in making its own space station. Why because the US banned China for its contrast action. There might be other reasons also. However, if China needs a help in making China’s space station, Italy like countries are ready to join with China.
China already suffered from two launch failures which are occurred in March and April. Now with this long March 5B failure, China faces too much pressure on its upcoming project along with financial loss. China has planned to launch a space machine to Mars with orbiter and rover in July. Chinese scientists were disturbed a lot with these repeated failures. These failures impact on the upcoming July project. Maybe the Mars space machine will postpone than the usual or planned date.
China is planning to launch three more long march 5B rockets in the future with a suitable module for China’s space station.