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Chinese Satellite Crashes Into House 406

Posted by timothy
from the in-china-no-less dept.
toggleflipflop writes "In China, a returning satellite crashed into a house. No one was hurt. More details in this article. Apparently inhabited by an eternal optimist: 'The satellite landed in our home. Maybe this means we'll have good luck this year,' the tenant of the wrecked apartment was quoted as saying by the newspaper. According to the People's Daily's article on the subject nothing seems to have gone wrong."
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Chinese Satellite Crashes Into House

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  • First Image (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2004 @02:52PM (#10551298)
    Here's a picture. [xinhuanet.com]
  • by octal666 (668007) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @02:52PM (#10551301)
    Are they meaning the house-crashing was on schedule?
  • next year (Score:5, Funny)

    by morcheeba (260908) * on Sunday October 17, 2004 @02:53PM (#10551307) Journal
    Boy, is that guy going to be disappointed next year when a satellite doesn't crash into his house. Bad luck all year!
    • by kingkade (584184) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:02PM (#10551387)
      When the guy was saying everything was OK and generally being all happy-go-lucky about it, you could probably notice there was a red laser beam aimed at his temple. 'You used to be cool China, what happened?'
  • No thanks. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wankledot (712148) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @02:53PM (#10551309)
    Someone once told me that being shit on by a bird was good luck to the Italians... I guess this is like that to the nth degree

    Personally, I'd rather have bad luck and no bird shit on my head (or satellites in my house)

    • by Zardus (464755) <yans@yancomm.net> on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:14PM (#10551474) Homepage Journal
      I don't particularly mind satellites, as long as they come in through the front door, whipe their feet on the welcome mat, and politely drink their tea. Its the kind that crash through your roof or window that I can't stand. They're just plain rude.
    • by JasontheMason (654429) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:26PM (#10551548) Homepage
      Personally, I'd rather have bad luck and no bird shit on my head (or satellites in my house)

      So, what if the bad luck was something like, um, a satellite falling through your roof?

      JtM

    • Re:No thanks. (Score:5, Informative)

      by jelle (14827) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:36PM (#10551615) Homepage
      Not so much 'good luck', but in the spirit of karma, yin/yang, or for engineers 'laws of constant misery', getting hit like that tips the scale such toward the bad-luck extreme that after that you are due a lot of luck to get back to 'normal'.
    • by metlin (258108) *
      Actually, Satellites crashing may not be a bad idea.

      I could sell one of these things off ebay and buy me some sweet loving.

      But I suspect that in China, the only sweet lovin' I'd get would be from them gubmint men in red.
    • Re:No thanks. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by glk572 (599902) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:57PM (#10551731) Homepage Journal
      The real question is wether you would rather be shat on by a bird or have a satellite fall through your roof; I would prefer the satellite, It would be worth it just for the story, especially if you rent.
      • It would be worth it just for the story, especially if you rent.

        Quite. IIRC, my homeowner's insurance specifically disclaims responsibility for such events, in the same section where they say they aren't responsible for warlike actions or damage caused by nuclear blasts.
        • Re:No thanks. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by balloonhead (589759)
          But at least in a lot of Western countries, if the government or whatever agency crashed something into your house, you might get it insured through them. I'm sure NASA would front up some cash for a rebuild, seeing as they are responsible ultimately. Not much cash in the total budget of a satellite anyway, a few tens of thousand for a new roof and a wall or two.

          I'm not so sure that the People's Republic would be so forthcoming with a rebuild. Then again, if everyone's equal in a communist society, maybe t
    • Someone once told me that being shit on by a bird was good luck to the Italians

      You don't remember it correctly, it's walking on it.

    • Or said it at all, for that matter.

      "The satellite landed in our home. Maybe this means we'll have good luck this year"....."oh look! the excess hydrazine is spilling from the ruptured fuel tanks! What gloriousness, the great revolution truly has delivered blessings from heaven upon us! A thousand thanks to you Wen Jiabao!"....."my family's belongings are pulverized and burning with such splendid red flame! such must be divine providence showing we have truly reaped the benefits of the Great Leap Forward! W
  • So.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2004 @02:54PM (#10551317)
    Do they get to keep the satellite ??

    Finders Keepers..
    Loosers Weepers..
  • I don't understand (Score:5, Interesting)

    by elid (672471) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {dopi.ile}> on Sunday October 17, 2004 @02:55PM (#10551323)
    "The returning capsule only went through the roof and no one was injured or died. Experts who inspected the return capsule found it was not damaged at all," the report said, quoting local official Ai Yuqing.

    "The landing technology of our country's satellites is very mature and the precision of the landing point is among the best in the world. Members of the public need not worry about this," it also said, quoting Chinese space experts.

    Someone please explain this to me. Did they plan on crashing the thing into this guy's roof?

    • by Microlith (54737)
      Knowing how deeply the government of China truly cares for its people, I imagine it was more a case of "his house was in our target landing zone" as opposed to "we missed our target landing zone and hit his house."
      • I imagine it was more a case of "his house was in our target landing zone" as opposed to "we missed our target landing zone and hit his house."

        Methinks you're right. Places to put up a house or apartment are somewhat hard to come by and they will tend to pop up on any unoccupied piece of ground. Considering the damage done to the apartment building and not done to the returned piece of satellite, I'd guess that earthquakes are a much greater threat.
    • by morcheeba (260908) * on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:03PM (#10551401) Journal
      No, of course they didn't plan on landing it on this guy's roof. Check out the picture [xinhuanet.com] -- they were obviously aiming for the courtyard, and, if you ask me, they did a really good job of getting pretty close.
      • The real problem in China has nothing to do with the space programs precision in retrieving equipment from orbit.

        It's the mail service; the flyer explaining to the house owner that they were intending to land the capsule in his courtyard hadn't been received yet.
    • by travdaddy (527149)
      "The landing technology of our country's satellites is very mature and the precision of the landing point is among the best in the world. Members of the public need not worry about this," it also said, quoting Chinese space experts.

      Allow me to translate that from government-speak: "Nothing to see here. Move along."
    • Hey, it's okay ... the capsule is fine. Nothing to worry about.
    • by RALE007 (445837) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @04:58PM (#10552033)
      Someone please explain this to me. Did they plan on crashing the thing into this guy's roof?

      Yes, that was the exact purpose of the mission. You see the guy had been evading taxes, and well, the Chinese can be known to go a bit overboard when making a point. It was a two part mission really, to show how precisely they can land their satellites, and to remind the population that they had better pay their f*&#ing taxes. Any other bright questions you need answers to?

  • by selderrr (523988) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @02:55PM (#10551327) Journal
    in belgium, some 10 years ago, a russian Mig bonkered into a house after the pilot did an emergency jump out some 5000km away above russian territory... Imagine sitting at the table and all of a sudden a warhead plops on your plate. not to mention the secret service eating your guts out 20mins later.

    I'm too lazy, otherwise I would google some info about it. No doubt soe karma whore will do it below
    • by Naito (667851)
      you mean this?

      http://mm.iit.uni-miskolc.hu/Data/Winx/stories/a cc id23.html
    • by IWK (20254) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:12PM (#10551457)
    • I'll try not to laugh too much. But, imagine being a kid able to say that you have piece of something from space (worth lot's of karma)....

      Sigh. All I had in my day was a measly Death's head hawk moth...
      (and we hadn't seen Silence of the Lambs - 20 years too early).
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:14PM (#10551473)
      Posted anon to avoid the karma:

      "The strange accident of the MiG-23

      04 July, 1989.

      From the Soviet airbase near Kolobzreg at the seashore of the Baltic Sea in Poland a MiG-23 took off for a training flight. After the take off the pilot, Colonel Skurigin realised that the afterburner of his plane stopped and the power of the engine begun to fall. The altitude at this time was about 130-150 m and the pilot believed that the descending aircraft is unable to fly any longer. Without turning the engine off the pilot ejected and landed safely with his parachute. To the great astonishment of the ground crew the position of the plane fixed and it flew away to the West. The autopilot kept the last direction of the plane. The aircraft was not armed but the ammunition for the 23 mm machine gun was onboard. The phantom plane left the airspace of the former East Germany and violated the West German airspace where it was intercepted and escorted a pair of American F-15s. As the F-15s didn't get permission to fire they let the aircraft flew away. France also alerted its Mirage fighters being in readiness with permission to fire if the phantom plane was dangerous for French built-up areas. Eventually it was unnecessary because after some 900 km the MiG-23 ran out of fuel and crashed in the area of Kortrijk city in Belgium ( NW of Belgium ). A house was ruined due to the crash and a 18 years old young man was buried under the ruins and died."
  • Hmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by physicsphairy (720718)
    "People's Daily's article on the subject nothing seems to have gone wrong."

    "In China, a returning satellite crashed into a house"

    They built a satellite designed to crash into a house? OK...

  • by travdaddy (527149) <travoNO@SPAMlinuxmail.org> on Sunday October 17, 2004 @02:57PM (#10551343)
    Apparently inhabited by an eternal optimist: 'The satellite landed in our home. Maybe this means we'll have good luck this year.'

    Hmm, must have had good insurance... and a crappy house.
    • Well, China is a communist country right? So, perhaps this person thinks that everyone gets the same amount of luck on an annual basis, and by having a satellite crash into his house, then all of his yearly alloted Bad Luck(tm) has been used up, leaving only government issued Good Luck(tm). Then add a sprinkle of karma, and I think I see where this nut is coming from.
  • by Kenshin (43036) <kenshin&lunarworks,ca> on Sunday October 17, 2004 @02:59PM (#10551366) Homepage
    We don't need no water, let the motherf***er burn!

    Burn, motherf***er, burn!
  • I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FiReaNGeL (312636) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <l3gnaerif>> on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:00PM (#10551367) Homepage
    I wonder if China is deliberately crashing its satellites on its territory for secrecy reasons... maybe it was a spy satellite or something?

    Seriously, given China size, they should have been able to find a decent landing spot... it isn't THAT densely populated is it?
  • by kuzb (724081) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:00PM (#10551370)
    Only in China would someone take a large hunk of metal destroying their home as a sign of good luck. The rest of us would probably be thinking that some higher power hates us.
    • Obviously, (Score:5, Funny)

      by quarkscat (697644) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:43PM (#10551660)
      the crashing satellite improved his
      home's Feng Shui. As a bonus, it
      also drove out all the evil spirits.
      Give the man a break, already.
    • ...or, only in China would the state punish someone severely for criticizing an obvious government screwup like this.

      Of course, he could actually think it's lucky. Who knows, maybe he stole some parts of it and is going to sell it on the black market. And the state might actually compensate him well for damages, since this is so high profile.
  • by psoriac (81188) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:02PM (#10551384)
    In case anyone else interpreted the summary as saying that nothing went wrong with the deorbiting of the satellite, I'd like to point out that the second article only says that nothing went wrong during the mission. It makes no mention of the crash.

    Regardless, China probably figures that deorbiting satellites into sparsely populated areas is perfectly safe because really, if it takes out a family or two, well, there's more where they came from. (Note to angry reactionists: I'm Chinese.)
  • by reality-bytes (119275) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:03PM (#10551399) Homepage

    In Communist China the satellite lands on you!

    .....oh wait
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:07PM (#10551430)
    Must of subcontracted to the same guys who outsourced parts for Genesis.

    Chinese Contractor: Here! We have parts left over from american space craft!
    Chinese Space Agency: Well, don't just stand there, send them to us!

    [3 Years Later]

    Genesis: The ground sure is coming up fast! I wonder why my chutes have gon.... GAK!

    [2 Month Later]

    Chinese Space Craft: The ground sure is coming up fast! I wonder why my chutes have gon.... GAK!
  • The apartment tenant could have been killed by the toilet seat from the deorbiting Mir station, and be cursed to forever walk the undead world known as http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0348913/ [imdb.com]Toilet Seat Girl...
  • Well, that's ONE way to silence political opposition in a repressive regime...

    Maybe other countries will take notice and start expanding their space programs... just to drop "errant" pieces of spacecraft on dissenters.

  • "According to the People's Daily's article on the subject nothing seems to have gone wrong."

    Obviously SOMETHING went wrong, and the Chineese Govt doesn't want to fess up.

    There's nothing like good old government-controlled press. I'm glad to see communism is still alive and well.
  • by sssmashy (612587) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:13PM (#10551471)

    'The satellite landed in our home. Maybe this means we'll have good luck this year.

    Eternal optimist? I doubt it. I'm sure the villager bit his tongue, and wisely refrained from voicing his true opinion.

    It's all relative. A broken roof is a minor inconvenience compared to ten years in prison for criticizing the government.

    • by NanoGator (522640) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:44PM (#10551666) Homepage Journal
      "It's all relative. A broken roof is a minor inconvenience compared to ten years in prison for criticizing the government."

      Or maybe he was just thinking "What are the odds of me having something happen that's WORSE that my house being destroyed by a satellite this year?"

    • Friends and family (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MMaestro (585010) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:51PM (#10551704)
      Or he really could have 'good luck' for the year. After all, if you suddenly heard that your brother or your friend's house suddenly burned down with no insurance, chances are you'd at least let him sleep over your house for a couple days. This is China where family is still considered to be the center, not the USA where family is just what you leech off of till you get a job/till you get kicked out.
    • by Zerbey (15536) *
      A satellite landing on you and killing you is infinitely less preferable than it landing on something else. Even if that happens to be your house.

      It's all relative, like you said.

  • This page [planet4589.org] is one place to learn more. It's Jonathan's Space Report, a reference monthly newsletter from a guy working at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

    It tells us FSW 20 - The FSW recoverable satellite launched by China on Sep 27 returned to Earth at 0248 UTC on Oct 15, falling through the roof of a house in the village of Penglai, Sichuan province
  • by Mastadex (576985) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:22PM (#10551528)
    Are we sure this guy didnt have a really big high powered ACME magnet pointed straight up??
  • by XeXeN (48797) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:24PM (#10551537)
    Is that their new dedicated subscription?
  • Ohhh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:35PM (#10551606)
    So thats why the box at the end of my dish is called a satellite receiver...
  • i guess the chinese didn't want to be outdone by the US crashing a probe into the Nevada desert.
  • Not just the chinese (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ssand (702570) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:40PM (#10551640)
    It's not just the chinese Space agency. If you look at nasa, and other space angencies, all have been riddled by some sort of issue, many of them similar, such as the incident with one of the mars rover, the space dust from the sun that failed to deploy its parachutes, or when one of Nasa's ships was unfortunately destroyed upon reentry.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2004 @03:53PM (#10551709)
    The satellite destroyed the building in Sichuan province, but officials say no-one was hurt.

    Officials say that no one with families powerful enough to demand reperations from the government was hurt.

    "The satellite landed in our home. Maybe this means we'll have good luck this year," the tenant of the wrecked apartment was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

    "The satellite landed in our neighbor's home. Since the government is making us say we lived there, maybe they'll make sure we have good luck this year to keep us from blabbing."

    For the benefit of the humor-impaired and tinfoil-hat crowd... I'm joking.

  • Some people are wondering why this guy made such a silly comment. Well, imagine if he said "Goddammit, what the hell does the government here think they're doing?"

    We get used to saying that kind of thing here in the US, but elsewhere, you just can't do that.
  • by Eevee (535658) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @04:21PM (#10551846)
    It's a fixer-upper, but it gets excellent satellite reception.
  • by Deal-a-Neil (166508) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @04:30PM (#10551892) Homepage Journal
    ..what Huo Jiyu REALLY said was, "Damn this government and their sweat shop mass production satellites! If there were only democracy, capitalism and competitive markets in the Chinese aerospace industry, this wouldn't have happened to me... WHY ME?? Fortune comes in threes, so I can't WAIT for what's in store for my next two."
  • Lucky? (Score:2, Funny)

    by d3ity (800597)
    Where does that idiot get off thinking he's going to have good luck this year. Oh, crap, wait. Confusious say he who gets hit by satelite have direct TV free for one year.
  • by aheikkinen (822909) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @04:47PM (#10551977)
    According to sources mentioned above, the capsule is a re-entry vehicle and it stayed completely intact. Actually it came down via parachute.

    That satellite from which this capsule was dropped off has been up there for only last 18 days. My guess is that it hasn't got anything to do with science and very much with military intelligence.

    For good part of the cold war both US and USSR used capsules to relay back intel images as radio and camera technology was not yet enough mature to do the job right. The chinese might still be (atleast partially) using robust methods which are proven to work - same with their manned missions.

    People managing their space program are definately calculating re-entry trajectories carefully so they know atleast approximately where the retrieval point is. No way they would drop a capsule by accident to populated areas.

    I'd say it was a hastened retrieval of latest intelligence, someone needed those images very badly and was ready to take the risk.

    Just my two cents.
  • by dfrick (255498) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:01PM (#10552050)
    that a satellite crashed on Chinese soil and didn't hit a person?
  • by Maljin Jolt (746064) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @06:00PM (#10552316) Journal
    According chinese traditional astrology, such event is considered very lucky, because of involvment of heaven element. So the guy's reasoning is very rational in paradigm of his culture. All those of you americans who are slashing and bashing chinese government propaganda in this thread, think at first about your own culture paradigms and government propaganda rooted in them, they are far more dangerous to anybody as well as to you yourself.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @07:11PM (#10552679) Homepage Journal
    what are the odds of that happening again??
  • by tehanu (682528) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @10:14PM (#10553510)
    Maybe the guy was just remembering the famous story of what happened 2000 years ago with the meteorite that landed during the First Emperor's time. Someone scrawled on it a curse to the First Emperor hoping that he'd die soon and in retaliation the Emperor ordered everyone in the village to be executed. So maybe the guy was thinking, "Well considering what happened *last* time something from space landed in someone's home and they criticised the government in response, maybe I'll just some inane comment about good luck instead..."

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