Why can dongfanghong-1 operate for 50 years? Scientists say it will fly for another 1000 years

In ancient times, people always had a dream that they could fly up into the sky or even out of the sky. This dream was finally realized on October 4, 1957. The Soviet Union successfully put the first man-made satellite in human history into earth orbit, realizing the dream of human flying into space.

After the successful launch of the first man-made satellite by the Soviet Union, the United States did not want to lag behind. It soon realized the launch of man-made satellite, and in 1969 it successfully completed the first man-made moon landing. Artificial satellite plays a very important role in human beings. It can help us better monitor the changes of atmosphere in real time and understand the changes of weather from outside the earth.

It is with the help of satellites that we can master the weather conditions of the earth in time, which plays an important role in preventing natural disasters in advance. Especially for people working on the sea and living by the sea, it’s very important to know the dynamics of typhoon in advance. Before human beings had no satellite, people who went to sea basically relied on some experience to predict the arrival of typhoon in advance.


However, experience is not accurate and often leads to wrong judgment, resulting in ship damage and death. So people in ancient times had to take great risks when they went to sea. The biggest risk was that they could not predict the occurrence of typhoon in advance. Now, with the help of satellites, we can predict the arrival of typhoon at sea many days in advance, so that fishermen can prepare ahead of time.

In addition to real-time meteorological monitoring, satellite can also monitor the earth’s resources and landforms in detail. The main credit for our comprehensive understanding of the earth is satellites. Of course, there are many functions of satellites. They can be used for communication and observation of celestial bodies. It can be said that one of the most important tools in the era of science and technology is satellites.

If we don’t have the assistance of satellite, we will be blind, and a lot of scientific and technological work can’t be carried out. It is precisely because of the importance of man-made satellites that China started the research and exploration of satellites after seeing the successful launch of satellites by the Soviet Union. Although China’s space science and technology started slowly and the knowledge reserve is very small, the spirit of struggle of the Chinese people is very high.

After continuous efforts and research, in 1970, the “Dongfanghong 1” satellite, which was independently developed by China, was successfully launched at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. As the first man-made earth satellite in China’s aerospace history, with the successful departure of “Dongfanghong 1”, a new era of China’s aerospace was opened. At the same time, it also enabled China to follow the Soviet Union, the United States, France and Japan After this project, it is the fifth country in the world that has independently developed and successfully launched an artificial satellite.


Dongfanghong-1 is China’s first man-made satellite, and its technology is not very comprehensive, so its mission into space is also very simple, that is, to carry out simple measurement. Moreover, Dongfanghong 1 has another important mission in space, which is to play the song Dongfanghong. Because of its simple design, the working time of dongfanghong-1 satellite is also very short. The original working time is usually 20 days, but it has successfully operated for 28 days.

Although Dongfanghong 1 has only worked for 28 days, it has not stopped running, but has been running for 50 years until now. So some people have such a question: why has dongfanghong-1 stopped working long ago, and it can still run until now? In fact, the answer to this question is not complicated.

The space environment is totally different from the earth. It is a vacuum environment without air. When we walk out of the earth and stand in space, you will find that the earth is rotating at a high speed, and it is still moving around the sun. The celestial bodies in the universe are basically in their own state of motion, which is also determined by gravity.


The objects with mass have universal gravitation. In the universe, if the celestial body wants to keep stable, it needs constant motion. Only constant motion can maintain the balance of gravitation and form a stable galaxy and cosmic environment.

After a satellite goes into space, it will get a very fast speed under the action of gravity in a vacuum environment. The satellite will move at a high speed around the orbit of the earth. If the satellite is always in the working state, the moving state can be controlled by the ground satellite center, and its speed and orbit can be adjusted at any time.

But if satellites like dongfanghong-1 have stopped working, they will not easily fall to the earth, but continue to move around the earth under the action of gravity. However, the orbit will keep approaching the earth. According to the weight of dongfanghong-1, scientists say that under normal circumstances, it can still orbit the earth for at least 1000 years.

Now 50 years have passed, the distance between dongfanghong-1 and the earth has only narrowed by 9 km, and its altitude from the earth’s atmosphere is at least 200 km. According to this time, about 500 years later, dongfanghong-1 will enter an orbit about 300 km away from the earth.


Only when Dongfanghong 1 enters the earth’s atmosphere can it speed up its fall. In fact, dongfanghong-1 is just a space junk now. Every satellite that stops working can only be space junk in earth orbit. The space garbage is troublesome for human beings to explore the sky. It will pose a certain threat to the earth, as well as to normal satellites and other space equipment.

Even when the universe is working in space, it is necessary to pay attention to space garbage, because the speed of space garbage is very fast. Once hit by it, the space station can also give you a hole, not to mention our fragile body. After human beings have just stepped out of the earth, we still don’t think much of space garbage. We think that the space of the earth’s orbit is so large that these garbage will not have any impact on us.

However, no one would have thought that human space technology has developed so fast. In just over 50 years, space waste has formed a certain scale in the earth orbit. At present, there are at least 4500 tons of space waste in the outer orbit of the earth, which encircles the earth. There are more and more risks for human satellites and probes to enter space.


Therefore, when scientists launch satellites or probes, the impact of space garbage is a very important consideration. If not, it is possible that the probe will be attacked by space garbage and become a new space garbage as soon as it goes out of the earth. Some people may say, since space garbage is so troublesome, why don’t we recycle it all?

In fact, it’s also human intolerance. Although we can now send large tonnage satellites and probes into space, it’s very difficult to recycle a small space garbage. This difficulty is mainly due to the speed of space garbage, which is orbiting the earth at about 7 kilometers per second.

You can imagine how terrible the speed of about 7 kilometers per second is. We can easily recover a stationary object, but it is very difficult and risky to recover an object with a speed of about 7 kilometers per second. We can’t do it with our current technology, so we can only keep these space junk in orbit and gather more and more.

Of course, with the continuous progress of science and technology, it is inevitable to clean up space garbage in the future. And this time will not be too long, so although dongfanghong-1 can theoretically continue to orbit the earth for as long as 1000 years, the real situation can not stay for such a long time. Because in the near future, human beings will clean up these space garbage and completely remove them.


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