Out-of-control Chinese space station set to crash land on earth

Tiangong-1 reentry window forecast as of 6 March Credit ESA

China's first space station, Tiangong-1 ("Heavenly Palace"), will come crashing back down to Earth between March 30 and April 2 in an uncontrolled re-entry, according to the latest forecast by the European Space Agency.

Tiangong-2, a similar spacecraft, remains in orbit and is functioning as it should. Abraham has been tracking the 18,000-pound space station since 2016.

The Chinese space station, which had been put out of service, is expected to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere in early April, falling over a region that includes most Arab countries. That means there is a higher probability of debris falling somewhere along a north-central stretch of the USA between California and NY.

Granted, the Mir went through a controlled re-entry over the South Pacific, while no one knows where Tiangong-1 will wind up.

A number of states are likely in the path of an out-of-control Chinese space station headed toward Earth.

The lab will likely enter the atmosphere between March 31 and April 4, according to Beijing Aerospace Control Centre and other agency estimates.

In 2011, Nasa said after calculation that the chance of a 6.5 tonne object hitting someone was one in 3,200 and it would be the most unlikely fatality in anyone's death.

Tiangong-1, launched in 2011, was never meant to last very long.

Tiangong-1 was created to stay in space for just two years and the Shenzhou-10 visit marked the end of the space lab's operational life.

"I certainly would worry about things like crossing the street far more than debris from Tiangong", said Andrew Abraham, an analyst leading efforts to track and predict the demise of the space station at the Aerospace Corporation. Back in 1979, NASA's Skylab actually crashed in Australia.

A Chinese space station is expected to plunge to Earth in about a week.

But you would have to be extremely unlucky to be taken out by a chunk of debris from Tiangong-1, according to space engineer Warwick Holmes, executive director of space engineering at the University of Sydney's School of Aerospace.

In a May 2017 statement to the United Nations, representatives from the Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China also said Tiangong-1 will pose little threat to Earth's inhabitants.

While the majority of the eight-tonne spacecraft is likely to burn up while dashing through the atmosphere, some parts of it are expected to hit the ground and this has raised concern just like Skylab had done nearly four decades ago.

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