Sci-tech

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

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

Scientists at European Space Agency (ESA) predicted that the now decommissioned Chinese space station, "Tiangong-1" or "Heavenly Palace 1" will crash on Earth somewhere on Thailand with a probability of 0.1%.

While there's a small possibility that there will be minor damage to a locale on Earth, it's far more likely that the small bits of debris that are left following the Chinese space station's reentry into our atmosphere will fizzle into nothingness. In the period from 19 March to 24 April, the facility with toxic fuel on Board crashing to the Ground.

In 2016 China admitted it had lost control of Tiangong-1 and would be unable to perform a controlled re-entry.

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

"If this should happen, any surviving debris would fall within a region that is a few hundred kilometres in size", said Aerospace, a research organisation that advises government and private enterprise on space flight.

But experts have warned that chunks of the satellite may contain a highly toxic chemical.

In addition, there is a high chance of dropping in the North China, Central Italy, Middle East, New Zealand, Tasmania, South America, South Africa and Northern States of the USA.

"It's much more common to be hit by lightning", said Dr. William Ailor, principal engineer for the Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies at Aerospace.

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A statement read: "When considering the worst-case locations, the probability that a specific person will be struck by Tiangong-1 debris is about one million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot".

There is no need for alarm or concern of being hit by the space debris.

But Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist from Harvard University, told The Guardian that pieces weighing up to 220 pounds could make it to Earth's surface. He said fragments from a similar-sized rocket re-entered the atmosphere and landed in Peru in January.

Travelling at speeds of around 18,000mph, and without guidance to direct it to oceans or uninhabited areas, there's a strong element of chance in where Tiangong-1 will hurtle back to Earth.

In recent months, the spacecraft has been speeding up and it is now falling by around 6km (3.7 miles) a week.

"At no time will a precise time/location prediction from ESA be possible", the agency said.

"It is only in the final week or so that we are going to be able to start speaking about it with more confidence", he said. Right now, they expect it will happen sometime in April, so we're only weeks away from the event.

For about five years, it did just that, orbiting Earth and acting as a base for three missions (two manned, one unmanned) for the Chinese National Space Administration. They broke up over Argentina, scattering debris over the town of Capitan Bermudez.


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