What would you think if you saw this fall from the sky? Would you think it was from a passing airplane, or scream that the sky was falling like Chicken Little? Would you think that it was from a spaceship?
I'm not sure that'd be my first thought, admittedly, but villagers in the Suichuan County in Jiangxi, China, were faced with that exact scenario last night, with the lunar probe Chang'e II's rocket scattering across the county after launching on the 1st.
It's not really ideal to scatter the sarcophagus all over your country's villages, but what a sight that must've been for the inhabitants. The Chang'e II is the country's second-ever lunar orbiter—something that cost the country the equivalent of $134 million. It's taking five days to travel to the moon and will spend around six months observing it with its hi-res cameras, mapping it from a distance of around 15km so they can accurately land spacecraft in the future.
Let's hope they're more accurate with shedding boosters in the future too, to keep the fatality rate at zero for rocket-based deaths.[Cinaoggi]