June 20, 2024

Four-ton 2nd Stage of Chinese ‘Long March’ rocket punched through the atmosphere on Wednesday over Texas at 17,000 miles per hour and disintegrated

UPDATED: Chinese Rocket that Delivered Military Spy Satellites Breaks Up Over Texas

https://news.usni.org/2023/03/09/chinese-rocket-that-delivered-military-spy-satellites-breaks-up-over-texas

This post has been updated with a statement from U.S. Space Command and additional information on the path of the debris. 

The second stage of a Chinese rocket that delivered a trio of military surveillance satellites in June disintegrated over Texas on Wednesday, USNI News has learned.

The four-ton component of a Chang Zheng 2D ‘Long March’ rocket punched through the atmosphere on Wednesday over Texas at 17,000 miles per hour and disintegrated, two defense officials confirmed to USNI News on Thursday.

Military officials have yet to find any debris from the rocket stage, however USNI News understands the debris field could be miles wide and several hundred miles long.

According to NORAD satellite tracking data, the stage was a piece of space junk in low earth orbit before it made its unscheduled descent.

“U.S. Space Command can confirm the People’s Republic of China CZ-2D Rocket Body, SCC# 52910, reentered the Earth’s atmosphere over the southern region of North America at approximately 8:30 pm [Mountain Time] on March 7, 2023,” reads a statement from SPACECOM following an earlier version of this post.

“This was an uncontrolled reentry, meaning it was not steered but rather its orbit decayed and lowered naturally. This type of behavior reinforces the need for better international norms regarding high-risk uncontrolled reentries.”

CNSA Watcher on Twitter: “[🔴China’s 21st launch in 2022] At UTC 02:22 June 23, 3 Yaogan(遥感/RemoteSensing)-35-02 satellites were successfully launched by #CZ2D Y64 rocket in Xichang, Sichuan. This is the 424th launch of Long March rocket family. HD: https://t.co/018SGyq48M pic.twitter.com/0kDtkg7hua / Twitter”

🔴China’s 21st launch in 2022] At UTC 02:22 June 23, 3 Yaogan(遥感/RemoteSensing)-35-02 satellites were successfully launched by #CZ2D Y64 rocket in Xichang, Sichuan. This is the 424th launch of Long March rocket family. HD: https://t.co/018SGyq48M pic.twitter.com/0kDtkg7hua

Based on the NORAD tracking data, the stage belonged to a mission that delivered three military electronic signals surveillance satellites that were believed to be targeted over the South China Sea, astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics told USNI News Thursday.

According to the track, the rocket section entered the atmosphere over West Texas near Marathon before heading on a northeast track between Abilene and Austin.

The debris field is over the least populated counties in the state, according to the Texas Demographic Center.

Chinese officials have not acknowledged the unplanned reentry as of this posting.

U.S. officials are still determining if any debris has hit the ground. China has been criticized for space debris entering the atmosphere unpredictably causing a hazard to population centers.

The 135-foot-long Chang Zheng 2D rocket is capable of carrying about 8,000 pounds of cargo into low earth orbit, according to information from the China National Space Administration.

The rocket, designated Y-64, successfully took off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on June 23 in central China and successfully deployed the spy satellites.

After dropping off its payload, the second stage becomes space junk and can slowly circle the planet for years before plunging to Earth.

According to McDowell, the Y-64 second stage was fitted with a special sail that would create drag on the reentry to keep it from being in orbit as a hazard to other space traffic.

NASA administrator Bill Nelson has been critical of the lack of care China has put into ensuring the safe landing of its space debris and its unwillingness to share trajectory data.

The breakup of the Long March rocket follows the U.S. destruction of a Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina after spending more than a week overflying the United States raising concerns about the security of domestic airspace.

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How the unintended consequences of intense spaceflight activity during the past 60 years has resulted in a growing population of debris objects that pose hazards to safe space navigation

Space debris story (2013)

The story of space debris highlighting how the unintended consequences of intense spaceflight activity during the past 60 years has resulted in a growing population of debris objects that pose hazards to safe space navigation. In 2013, experts estimate that 29 000 objects larger than 10 cm were orbiting Earth.



| Congress

House Committee Hearing on the Weaponization of the Federal Government

Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) questioned Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger about the Twitter Files

Jim Jordan And Stacey Plaskett Have Dramatic Clash Over Her Questioning Of Taibbi, Shellenberger

At today’s House Weaponization of the Federal Government hearing, Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) questioned Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger about the Twitter Files. Fuel your success with Forbes. Gain unlimited access to premium journalism, including breaking news, groundbreaking in-depth reported stories, daily digests and more.

Rep. Elise Stepanik (R-NY) Questions FBI Director Christopher Wray on the FBI’s handling of the Hunter Biden Laptop

Rep. Elise Stefanik on Twitter: “WATCH: FBI Director Chris Wray refuses to answer whether he believes the Hunter Biden laptop story is disinformation. pic.twitter.com/dCQVhEChvo / Twitter”

WATCH: FBI Director Chris Wray refuses to answer whether he believes the Hunter Biden laptop story is disinformation. pic.twitter.com/dCQVhEChvo


Dems Blast “Threat” Of “So-Called Journalists” As Taibbi, Shellenberger Expose “State-Sponsored Thought-Policing”

Zerohedge

ZeroHedge – On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero

As one might expect, the Judiciary hearing on the “weaponization” of federal agencies, featuring Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger as witnesses was full of fireworks, facts, and ad hominem friction.

Out of the gate, Ranking Member Democratic Del. Stacey E. Plaskett labeled the two “so-called journalists” as dangerous and a “threat” to former Twitter employees.

She claimed that Republicans brought “two of Elon Musk’s ‘public scribes'” in “to release cherry-picked out-of-context emails and screenshots designed to promote his chosen narrative – Elon Musk’s chosen narrative – that is now being parroted by the Republicans” for political gain.

Greg Price on Twitter: “Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) refers to @mtaibbi and @ShellenbergerMD as “so-called journalists.” pic.twitter.com/Pq8qtCPgoe / Twitter”

Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) refers to @mtaibbi and @ShellenbergerMD as “so-called journalists.” pic.twitter.com/Pq8qtCPgoe

“I’m not exaggerating when I say you have called two witnesses who pose a direct threat to people who oppose them,” Plaskett said after the video.

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, had a simple response to her accusations:

“It’s crazy what you were just saying.”

“You don’t want people to see what happened,” Jordan continued.

“The full video, transparency. You don’t want that, and you don’t want two journalists who have been named personally by the Biden administration, the FTC in a letter. They say they’re here to help and tell their story, and frankly, I think they’re brave individuals for being willing to come after being named in a letter from the Biden FTC.

Taibbi snapped back…

Greg Price on Twitter: “Taibbi fires back: “I’m not a so-called journalist. I’ve won the National Magazine Award, the I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and I’ve written 10 books.” pic.twitter.com/8KrBqg5S4i / Twitter”

Taibbi fires back: “I’m not a so-called journalist. I’ve won the National Magazine Award, the I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and I’ve written 10 books.” pic.twitter.com/8KrBqg5S4i

As Glenn Greenwald chimed in from Twitter“To Democrats, “journalist” means: one who mindlessly and loyally endorses DNC talking points. “

Unshaken, Matt Taibbi continued, when he was allowed to respond, laid out what he and Shellenberger had found in their research of The Twitter Files:

“The original promise of the Internet was that it might democratize the exchange of information globally. A free internet would overwhelm all attempts to control information flow, its very existence a threat to anti-democratic forms of government everywhere,” Taibbi said.

“What we found in the Files was a sweeping effort to reverse that promise, and use machine learning and other tools to turn the internet into an instrument of censorship and social control. Unfortunately, our own government appears to be playing a lead role.”

Taibbi pointedly added that “effectively, news media became an arm of a state-sponsored thought-policing system.”

“It’s not possible to instantly arrive at truth. It is however becoming technologically possible to instantly define and enforce a political consensus online, which I believe is what we’re looking at.”

Democrats only response to Taibbi and Shellenberger’s facts was to get personal…

As we detailed earlier, journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger are testifying before the House Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government today. Both journalists were involved in the ‘Twitter Files’ disclosures, in which we learned that the government was directly involved in censoring disfavorable speech.

Our findings are shocking,” writes Shellenberger at his blog. “A highly-organized network of U.S. government agencies and government contractors has been creating blacklists and pressuring social media companies to censor Americans, often without them knowing it.”

Ahead of the appearance, Taibbi released his prepared remarks. He also dropped a new and related Twitter Files mega-thread on ‘THE CENSORSHIP-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX’ which will be submitted to the Congressional record which, according to Taibbi, ‘contains some surprises.’

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