5 pieces of space junk that landed in Indonesia

Image courtesy of Kumparan

The information in this article was originally published at Kumparan, in Bahasa Indonesia.

A fascinating feature article by Indonesian crowdsourced news platform Kumparan was published today, detailing five significant pieces of space junk that landed in Indonesian territory.

Part of China’s Long March 3, 2017

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This feature was prompted by a piece of space junk that fell from the skies two days ago, on 18 July 2017, near Sungai Batang, West Sumatra. Shaped like an urn, the piece is most likely from China’s Long March 3, which launched its Beidou M1 navigation satellite in 2007.

Part of Falcon 9’s upper stage, 2016

On 26 September 2016, a rocket upper stage assumed to be from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 landed in Madura, East Java. The rocket launched Japan’s JCSAT-16 on August 14, 2016, and marked the second time SpaceX succeeded in landing its first stage on the drone ship.

Part of China’s Long March 3, 2003

On 13 October 2003, a large piece of China’s Long March-3 crashed into a rubber plantation in Bengkulu, Sumatra. Its descent caused a huge explosion and residents felt vibrations all around, resembling an earthquake. This rocket had launched the Dong Fang Hong 3 satellite in 1994.

Part of a Soyuz-U, 1988

A piece of the Soviet Union’s workhorse Soyuz-U landed in Lampung, South Sumatra, in 1988, after burning up upon re-entry. This Soyuz-U had launched Kosmos 1938, one of many satellites in the Soviet Kosmos series.

A Kosmos-3M rocket engine part, 1981

On 26 March 1981, an engine part from Soviet rocket Kosmos-3M landed in Gorontalo, Northern Sulawesi, after burning up upon atmospheric re-entry.  This particular rocket was used to launch Interkosmos 20, a remote sensing satellite launched on 1 November 1979.


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