Heads Up: China's Tiangong-1 Space Station Is Crashing to Earth

Enlarge Image The doomed Chinese

The space station will burn up as it enters the atmosphere but there are chances that some small pieces of the station will survive the burning process of re-entry and will strike the planet.

"It's challenging to predict the time of reentry, and even more challenging to get the location", Abraham said.

Orbital Chinese space station Tiangong-1 was launched into orbit in 2011, that is, relatively recently.

Sometime around April 3-give or take about a week-China's 9.5-ton Tiangong-1 space station will fall out of orbit and enter Earth's atmosphere.

"Once it starts to break apart, each of the pieces will fall along the track, but they can be spread out by several hundred miles", he added.

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A statement from Aerospace said there was "a chance that a small amount of debris" from the module will survive re-entry and hit the Earth.

China has also refused to release details of what is on board, meaning it's harder for scientists to predict where it will land.

In any case, he said, his agency was coordinating closely with worldwide peers and they have asked China how much hydrazine was left in the spacecraft. "But we will only know where they are going to land after the fact".

Orbit of Tiangong-1 as of 2018 March 7 @ 00:00:00.000 UTC. "As an object comes into Earth's orbit, its movement will be highly erratic, unlike those in space where their movements can be calculated more accurately", said Mr Anond.

While the station's movements will be more unpredictable as it moves closer to Earth, the agency is preparing a plan and draft guidelines including on the handling of hydrazine for all agencies despite the extremely remote chance of an incident. However, in 2016, China recognized that the station is out of control and carry out a controlled landing is not possible.

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On September 14, 2016, China made an official statement predicting Tiangong-1 would reenter the atmosphere in the latter half of 2017.

"I personally wouldn't be fearful at all about being struck by space debris", said Dr. Andrew Abraham, a senior member of the technical staff at the Aerospace Corporation, a federally funded research organization based in El Segundo, California, that has been modeling the 18,000-pound station's reentry path.

Recently, a top Chinese spaceflight engineer denied that the space station was out of control, Reuters reported.

McDowell said Tiangong-1's descent had been speeding up in recent months and it was now falling by about 6km a week, compared with 1.5km in October.

Re-entry was delayed in September 2017 in order to ensure that the wreckage would fall into an area of the South Pacific ocean where debris from Russian and U.S. space stations had previously landed, the paper said.

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Everyone has been following the news surrounding the Chinese Space Station Tiangong 1 and when it is going to make a re-entry into the atmosphere.

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