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

DESCENT Debris from China's Tiangong-1 space station could fall on Spain when it makes its re-entry

"There is a chance that a small amount of Tiangong-1 debris may survive reentry and impact the ground", the agency reports.

A out-of-control Chinese space station with "highly toxic" chemicals onboard could hit the Earth in 21 days, revised re-entry dates have revealed.

"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. "Should this happen, any surviving debris would fall within a region that is a few hundred kilometers in size and centered along a point on the Earth that the station passes over". While the launch of the Chinese space station made China the third nation to operate their own space station after the United States and Russian Federation, they're now dealing with the embarrassing fallout as it plummets back down to Earth.

With a current orbit ranging from 43 degrees north to 43 degrees south, there's a wide range in which it could impact.

The chances of re-entry were slightly higher in northern China, the Middle East, central Italy, northern Spain and the northern states of the US, New Zealand, Tasmania, parts of South America and southern Africa. It's thought that more information will be gleaned in the coming weeks, although we may not know for sure where Tiangong-1 will hit until its final hours. The country has launched a new space laboratory, the Tiangong 2 in the preparation for a larger space station which China is hoping to complete in the early 2020s.

While it's exact re-entry location can not be pinpointed, space agencies believe the doomed piece of space junk has a higher chance of hitting New Zealand, the US, Europe and Australia.

The chances of actually being hit by debris are pretty small, according to Aerospace. There has only been one person in history that has been hit by falling space debris and she was uninjured by the small piece.

Things go wrong in space and we must accept that. At no time will a precise time/location prediction from ESA be possible.

In September 2016, however, Chinese officials announced that they had lost control of the station, meaning Tiangong-1 (literally "heavenly palace") would eventually defy its name and come hurtling back to Earth.

Much of the spacecraft is expected to burn up in the atmosphere upon re-entry.



Other news