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flyingturtle
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Tiangong space station de-orbit - impact for aviation

Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:59 am

The derelict Chinese space station Tiangong is going to de-orbit between March 30th and April 7th.

For a fellow Wikipedian, I want to ask a few things:

How big will the disruptions be for commercial aviation? How much advance warning will be given to air crews? How do airlines plan for that event?


David
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
 
Woodreau
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Re: Tiangong space station de-orbit - impact for aviation

Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:20 am

Not being an expert here but From what I can read about it from news articles. the station is not under control, so the people tracking can’t predict where it will be when it reenters the atmosphere until it happens and expect about a day’s warning before it happens.

I guess it will be same thing with the space station when I used to separate military aircraft from artillery and mortar gunfire as a forward air controller. - “big sky little bullet theory”. The military air crews were not particularly fond of it.

Experts are predicting that chances of prices of the space station hitting any person on earth are so remote that you have a better chance of winning the powerball before getting hit by space debris.

So probably no more than a days notice is about all the warning we’ll get and once they figure out the general area aviation authorities will probably issue notams or something.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
zuckie13
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Re: Tiangong space station de-orbit - impact for aviation

Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:34 pm

Uncontrolled Reentry is always hard to predict. The biggest thing that drives it is changes in the outer edges of the atmosphere due mostly to solar activity. It's a slow process, the uncertainty will continue to narrow as it gets closer, but will never be perfect. I'd bet there will be a fairly last minute closure of some airspace "day of".

As some genius predicted like a month ago - it'll be somewhere between + and - 43 degrees latitude. (BTW, I made this prediction back in 2011 when it launched - inclination = max latitude, so 42.7 degrees inclination means it'll never go past that).
 
kalvado
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Re: Tiangong space station de-orbit - impact for aviation

Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:53 pm

Woodreau wrote:
So probably no more than a days notice is about all the warning we’ll get and once they figure out the general area aviation authorities will probably issue notams or something.

Area is still an uncertaintly. Last prediction will be a line, with timestamps for different possible locations.
Hard to operate around such moving target, basically you have to NOTAM lots of areas, 15 minutes per area. So a half-hour takeoff delay (weather in JFK? What chan go wrong with that?) ruins scheduling.
As an example:
as I write this (10.40 EDT) thing is over pacific heading towards Texas, NYC, and across pacific to Algeria.
It will pass within the range from my current location 4 times every day with 90 minutes interval, between 7 AM and noon. Scheduling around that - short of shutting down entire US for 6 hours a day - is almost impossible.
SO.. Pray hard, and you prays will be answered. Chances of being hit on a ground and while airborne are almost the same.
 
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aeromoe
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Re: Tiangong space station de-orbit - impact for aviation

Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:08 am

kalvado wrote:
as I write this (10.40 EDT) thing is over pacific heading towards Texas, NYC, and across pacific to Algeria.


I'm sure you meant to say Atlantic...
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