Chinese space lab to fall to Earth, showering debris, this weekend
Mar 31 2018 by Johnnie Parsons
Esa has given regular updates on Tiangong-1 and now estimates re-entry between 30 March and 2 April, but says this timeframe is "highly variable". Here's how to keep up with where the wayward space station is and where it might land.The most recent projections have the station re-entering the Earth's atmosphere around April 1 at 12:15 p.m.
Only one person has EVER reported being hit by space debris, a piece that glanced off their shoulder.
The programme for a space station kicked off in earnest with the 2011 launch of Tiangong-1, or "Heavenly Palace".
Speaking at a daily news briefing, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the government had been continually informing the United Nations space agency of the latest information about the Tiangong-1. Richardson said, "Since 2016, China has actually lost contact with it so they are no longer in control of the trajectory of the space station".
The space station was originally planned to be decommissioned back in 2013 however, China had repeatedly extended the length of its mission.
China's space agency said that the almost eight-tonne Tiangong-1 will fierily re-enter the atmosphere some time between Saturday and Monday. While the thought of that falling from the sky can be scary, most of the space station won't reach the earth. Though, scientists and engineers still can not pinpoint where and when the 9.4-tonne school bus-size space station will fall.
"It is now nearing its fiery demise as it gradually gets slowed down by the fringes of the Earth's upper atmosphere", he said.
It will come down somewhere between the 43rd north and south parallels, roughly between the latitudes of London in Britain and Wellington in New Zealand, but it is impossible to be any more specific, ESA's Krag said.
No, the space junk remains the property of China.
Holger Krag, head of ESA's Space Debris Office, explained: "There will always be an uncertainty of a few hours in all predictions - even just days before the reentry, the uncertainty window can be very large".