12 Iyyar 5775Day 27 of the Omer
UPDATE on A Tale of Another Big 'Fall':
The Air Force is watching an out-of-control Russian satellite tumbling toward earth that could reenter the atmosphere with some 3,000 pounds of toxic fuel....
Another concern is that some 44 pieces of debris are also moving near the satellite and the upper stage of the rocket body that delivered the craft into orbit.
...Space analysts said the reentry of fully-fueled craft could pose a danger, if the fuel freezes. Some of the frozen fuel likely would survive the high-speed burn up of the craft as it reenters the atmosphere and potentially land on populated areas.
“The Progress is carrying up to three times the amount of toxic propellants as did USA-193 when it was deemed sufficiently hazardous to require active remediation [in 2008],” said James Oberg, a space affairs analyst.
“There could be a ton and a half of toxic chemicals on board, something we don’t like falling at random out of the sky because the cold or frozen fluids greatly enhance the chance of getting the fuel down to the ground.”According to an article in the International Business Times...
Any surviving debris will probably land between 5-7 May but where exactly it will fall will not be known for at least another two days,....
Astrophysicist and associate professor at the Australian National University Charley Lineweaver told ABC that if the spacecraft continued on its current orbit, the debris could fall anywhere spanning plus-50 and minus-50 degrees latitude on the Earth's surface, which is pretty much two-thirds of the Earth.
"If it comes down at a very narrow angle and burns up, it could burn up completely.
"If it comes down more straight and bigger pieces are left, then big pieces the size of your head or a soccer ball will come down and a debris field will be created," he said while noting that the element of danger is unknown.Other sources estimate re-entry around May 9th "plus or minus two days". In any case, the fact that Lag Ba'Omer which celebrates the revelation of the Zohar - the Fire of Torah - with the burning of bonfires falls within this timeframe is noteworthy, in my opinion.
Furthermore, it will cause many eyes to be turned to the Heavens just at this time...
Torah of Fire and Water
Based on a sicha by Harav Aharon Lichtenstein