Although the Chinese Space Agency successfully launched the Yutu rover to the Moon this month there was some, er, fallout from the launch.
A few pieces of the launch craft fell back, and onto, the country. The US and other space launching countries tend to build these facilities near the coast so that the debris fall into the ocean, away from populated areas.
The Chinese, however, decided to build their launch facilities far inland (most probably due to military paranoia about prying eyes and ears).
Sometimes, the pieces falling back to Earth injure or kill people. In one instance about 50 people died as a result of a failed launch.
Additionally, China is adding to our already staggering amount of space junk. Although the US and the former Soviet Union are to blame for most of the junk orbiting the planet, China seems to be playing catch-up. With China, India and other countries planning space launches along with all the commercial space ventures just starting, we need to figure out how to deal with the debris.
Otherwise, the movie Gravity is going to become a reality.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +