Abril 20, 2018

Out-of-control Chinese Space Station due to hit Earth over Easter

31 Marcha 2018, 04:31 | Gervasio Siguenza

Tiangong-1 space station crash window gets narrowed down

Any pieces of Tiangong-1

Eastern, plus or minus nine hours.

According to scientists from China's space agency, the view could like a slow-moving shooting star that splits into a few more shooting stars. Use the link here.

If you do happen to see a chunk of debris, experts warn people to be cautious and to not handle it. SatView provides real-time tracking so you can always know where the station is.

"The Tiangong-1 Chinese space station is re-entering our atmosphere soon", representatives for The Virtual Telescope Project wrote in a statement.

Tiangong-1 is now projected to pass over the Wichita area at about 6:45 a.m. on Friday and 6:15 a.m. on Saturday, he said. China is also providing daily updates.

"But you may get to wave it goodbye as it streaks across the sky".

"Everything else" - other passes by the dying space station - "is grazing the horizon and won't be easy to see", he said.

Fortunately, most of it will burn up in the atmosphere.

The Tiangong 1, launched in 2011, is China's first space station and served as an experimental platform for the country's ambitious space program. China stopped receiving data from the station in 2016, which means it could be flying blind.

Space weather and the orientation of the spacecraft create uncertainty about the timing of Tiangong-1's re-entry. They sent their first man into orbit in 2003. In 2001, the Russian space agency steered their 120 tonne Mir space station safely into the Pacific Ocean. On this mission, the crew spent 11 days at the station and completed two dockings - one computer-controlled and one crew-guided. However, in March 2016, Chinese scientists lost all communication with the ship, failing to fire up its thrusters. There are no astronauts now on board the space station.

Maybe not zero, but the chances are about 1 million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot. That might help keep things a little in perspective.

This will lead to most of the station burning up and "it is hard to know exactly what will survive since the makeup of the station has not been disclosed by China". But some pieces likely will survive.

It was always expected to fall back to Earth.

Fragments of the station, which could weigh up to 220 pounds, are unlikely to land in a populated area, says Moriba Jah an astrodynamicist at the University of Texas at Austin.

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