A vacant space lab that will crash back to Earth in the coming days is unlikely to do any damage, according to the Chinese authorities, but instead offers a "great" show similar to a meteor shower.
China's space agency claims that the eight-tonne Tiangong-1 will eventually return to the atmosphere between Saturday and Monday. The European Space Agency gave a smaller window on Friday between Saturday night and late Sunday night GMT
But there is "no need to worry", said the China-manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) on its WeChat social media account.
Such falling spacecraft "do not bounce violently to Earth, as in science fiction movies, but turn into a magnificent (meteor shower) and move across the beautiful starry sky as they head toward Earth."] The lab became Launched in September 201
The ESA said that the lab is "uncontrolled reentry" as the ground crews can no longer fire their engines or engines, even though a Chinese space flight engineer denied he was out of control earlier this year.
ESA's updated re-entry estimate is a bit later than its previous calculations. The agency said in a blog post that now calmer space weather was expected, as a high-speed stream of solar particles did not cause an increase in density of the upper atmosphere, as previously expected.
Such an increase in density would have "The spacecraft was demolished earlier," it said. The new reentry window is still uncertain and "highly variable".
Beijing sees its billion-dollar space program as a symbol of the rise of the country. It is planned to send a manned mission to the moon in the future.
China deployed another laboratory in orbit, the Tiangong-2, in September 2016, and is a springboard to its goal of having a manned space station by 2022. 19659002] Experts have downplayed any concerns over the Tiangong-1, which would cause damage if it flies back to Earth, with the ESA finding that in the past 60 years, nearly 6,000 uncontrolled reentry of large objects has occurred without harming anyone.
The CMSEO said the likelihood that someone will be hit by a meteorite weighing more than 200 grams is one in 700 million.
& # 39; Spectacular show & # 39;
During uncontrolled reentry, atmospheric drag tears off solar arrays, antennas and other external components at a height of about 100 kilometers (60 miles), according to the Chinese Space Agency
The increasing heat and friction will cause the main structure burns or explodes, and it should dissolve altitude of about 80 kilometers, it said.
Most fragments will dissolve in the air and a small amount of debris will fall relatively slowly before landing, most likely in the ocean covering more than 70 percent of the earth's surface.
Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, estimates that the Tiangong-1 is the 50th most massive uncontrolled reentry of an object since 1957.
"Much bigger things fell without casualties," McDowell
"This thing is like a small plane crash," he said, adding that the trail of debris will scatter hundreds of miles apart.
At a height of 60-70 kilometers, debris will begin to become a "series of fireballs" where local people "see a spectacular show," he said.
China will intensify its efforts to coordinate with the United Nations Office for Space Issues. Entry is approaching, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang reporter said Friday
"I want to emphasize that we attach great importance to this issue, and we have been very responsive to the applicable laws and regulations," said Lu.
"What I've heard The likelihood of large amounts of debris falling to the ground is very low."
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed. ) <! – –