Chinese space station expected to fall to Earth this weekend

First, know this: You're probably anxious about nothing.

The Tiangong-1, which means "Heavenly Place", was launched in 2011 as a prototype space station.

China disagrees with the ESA with its space agency predicting reentry between April 1 and April 2, either Sunday or Monday.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson today said it is unlikely any large parts will reach the ground.

China's defunct space lab, Tiangong-1, should fall to Earth over the weekend, according to a BBC News report on Friday.

The possible area of impact will not be outside 43 degrees North or South of the Equator, and although the report states that almost 5.2 billion people live inside the impact area, most of it is the only ocean.

While Tiangong-1 may be the size of a bus, NASA's first space station was more than seven times its mass when it sprinkled its remains across the ocean and bits of Australia in 1979. "By comparison, the risk of being hit by lightning is 1 in 1.4 million, and the risk that someone in the USA will be killed in a hurricane is about 1 in six million", the aerospace authority said in a public advisory.


According to the federally-funded Aerospace Corporation, the station is predicted to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere sometime between midday on March 31 and early afternoon on April 1.

While Rapid City isn't in the path, towns like Hot Springs and Pine Ridge are on the very edge of the range of possibilities, but the odds are extremely small.No worries though - there has never been a person injured by a piece of falling space debris. It was China's first space station. The Aerospace Corp. says it could land along a strip of the USA that includes the southern Lower Peninsula of MI. Tiangong-1, like everything else in orbit around the Earth, is speeding at about 17,000 miles per hour, circling the planet more than a dozen times a day.

That's all in the hope that when Tiangong-1 finally does fall, someone will see it, and Thompson will be able to match all those model estimates against what really happened.

Roughly the size of a school bus, the Tiangong-1 is an out-of-control space station that is now falling toward Earth.

Though it has attempted to reassure the world about the spacecraft, China still has no idea where parts of the space station will land.

While it is not uncommon for debris such as satellites or spent rocket stages to fall to Earth, large vessels capable of supporting human life are rarer.


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