Sunday, January 15, 2012

Show me the risk assessment report for this eventuality (CBC News)

Canada, U.S., and most of Russia outside of risk zone

Posted: Jan 15, 2012 10:32 AM ET 

Last Updated: Jan 15, 2012 10:31 AM ET 

The failed Russian Phobos-Ground probe, shown in this November 2011 photo, is expected to fall to Earth around Jan. 15. Canada, the United States, and much of Russia are outside the risk zone. (Russian Roscosmos/Associated Press)


"Klinkrad agreed with that assessment, adding that about 100 tonnes of space junk fall on Earth every year. "This is 200 kilograms out of these 100 tonnes," he said.
Thousands of pieces of derelict space vehicles orbit Earth, occasionally posing danger to astronauts and satellites in orbit, but as far as is known, no one has ever been hurt by falling space debris."
Based on those figures, and an assumption that a 200kg event is 'typical', then there are events occurring every single days of the year.  But wait, there are bigger pieces of falling debris too .

"The Phobos-Ground weighs 13.5 tonnes, and that includes a load of 11 tonnes of highly toxic rocket fuel intended for the long journey to the Martian moon of Phobos. It has been left unused as the probe got stuck in orbit around Earth shortly after its Nov. 9 launch.
Roscosmos says all of the fuel will burn up on re-entry, a forecast Klinkrad said was supported by calculations done by NASA and the ESA. He said the craft's tanks are made of aluminum alloy that has a very low melting temperature, and they will burst at an altitude of more than 100 kilometres."

Really?  11 tonnes of toxic rocket fuel 'burning up' in the atmosphere?  Wouldn't that be like detonating a very large bomb? in our atmosphere?  I would like to see the risk assessment report associated with this scenario!


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