Chinese space station Tiangong-1 could crash to Earth within weeks

Out-of-control Chinese space station to crash-land on Earth within weeks

Chances of the station's re-entry are highest in two concentrated bands (as seen in this diagram) at the upper and low perimeters of the area between 43ºN and 43ºS - it could land anywhere, but particularly likely are: northern China, the Middle East, central Italy, northern Spain, the northern United States, New Zealand, Tasmania, parts of South America and southern Africa.

And now, ESA has released a new window for Tiangong-1's eventual crash landing, which they believe could be between March 29 and April 9.

The Tiangong-1 or Heavenly Palace lab was launched in 2011 and described as a "potent political symbol" of China, according to the report in the Guardian. It was hard to predict when the module might land because its speed was affected by the constantly changing "weather" in space, he said.

Because so much of the Earth is water and so much land is uninhabited, the chance of an individual person being hit by a chunk of Tiangong-1 is one million times smaller than the odds of winning the US Powerball jackpot, according to the Aerospace Convention - so one million times smaller than a one in 292 billion chance. The Mir Space Station run by the Russian space agency fell back to Earth in March 2001. The Aerospace Corporation in a statement informed that there is a chance that some parts of the space station will survive the re-entry and will hit Earth.

The US-funded organization that advises private and government enterprises on space flight also noted that any debris surviving the crash into Earth's atmosphere would "fall within a region that is a few hundred kilometers in size".

Aerospace said, "no known person has ever been harmed by re-entering space debris".

Back in June 2016, China revealed that it had lost control of Tiangong-1, and would be unable to perform a controlled re-entry.

The geographical range of where it will touch down is still completely uncertain, with the final spot extending from 43 degrees North to 43 degrees South latitude. As per the reports, Tiangong-1 carries a highly toxic and corrosive fuel named Hydrazine.

Tiangong-1 is not created to withstand re-entry, as some spacecraft are.

Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist from Harvard University, seems a bit less anxious about the satellite than some, but he still has a note of caution, as he told The Guardian.

The Chinese module was used for both manned and unmanned missions and visited by China's first female astronaut, Liu Yang, in 2012. Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist from Harvard University has said such debris keep crashing every few years but this one is bigger in size and speeding size is more so the exact details are being tabulated yet. But during this period, China lost control of the space station.

In 1991 the Soviet Union's 20-tonne Salyut 7 space station crashed to Earth while still docked to another 20-tonne spacecraft called Cosmos 1686.

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