China's Tiangong-1 Space Lab Will Likely Fall to Earth Easter Weekend

Space Stations Rising and Falling title

Launched in 2011, Tiangong-1, whose name means Heavenly Palace, was a milestone that marked China's determination to catch up to or even outpace global space powers.

A Chinese space station is set to plummet to Earth next week after the Chinese confess they've lost control of it.

The station will likely fall from orbit sometimes between March 29th and April 4th according to Andrew Abraham who is a senior member of technical staff at the Aerospace Corporation.

The space station is expected to break up on re-entry and scatter fragments over an area as large as 2,000 by 70 kilometres. Is there cause to be anxious?- Speaking at a recent press briefing, the head of the ESA's space debris office, Holger Krag, told reporters "Our experience is that for such large objects typically between 20% and 40% of the original mass will survive re-entry and then could be found on the ground, theoretically". 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. Blue areas have zero probability of debris reentry since Tiangong-1 does not fly over these areas (north of 42.7° N latitude or south of 42.7° S latitude).

Experts said it's hard to establish exactly where the space lab will fall, but it's expected to descend within a latitude of 43 degrees north and south of the equator.

A Chinese space station is expected to crash to Earth soon.

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There are more than 500,000 pieces of debris in orbit above us.

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.

To reduce this uncertainty, the prediction of the space station's decaying orbit is being monitored and updated with each pass of the Tiangong-1 over Bologna.

If it doesn't burn up in a fireball, it's due to hit Earth over Easter.

On March 16, 2016, Tiangong-1 terminated its data service, officially ending the mission and starting its orbital decay.

Tiangong-1 won't be the biggest spacecraft ever to fall uncontrolled from the sky. Two Chinese woman astronauts also paid visit to the space station, which was launched as unmanned, in 2012 and 2013.

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