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 Thursday said that the eight-ton 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 dispatched another laboratory into 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 breaks down solar arrays, antennas and other external components at a height of approximately 100 kilometers (according to the Chinese Space Agency)
Increasing heat and friction will burn or explode the main structure, and it should disintegrate at a height of about 80 kilos (19659002) 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," said McDowell AFP
"This thing is like a small plane crash," he said, adding that the trail of debris will be several hundred kilometers apart.
At a height of 60-70 kilometers, debris will turn into "a series of fireballs" where local people "see a spectacular show," he said.
China is stepping up efforts to coordinate with the United Nations Office on Space Issues as a re-entry, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang Repor said, "I want to emphasize that we attach great importance to this issue, and we are in line with the relevant ones Laws and regulations very responsibly, "Lu said.
"What I've heard is the possibility that large amounts of debris falling to the ground are very thin."
Point Nemo, the Earth's water cemetery for spacecraft
Paris (AFP) 30. March 2018 –
A place where Tiangong-1, China's earthly and run-down lab, is unlikely to hit Sunday, is the lonely place in the South Pacific where it should crash.
Officially referred to as the "Ocean Spot of Inaccessibility," this watery cemetery for Titan fuel tanks and other high-tech space junk is better known as Point Nemo, in honor of Jules Verne's fictional submarine captain.
Point Nemo lies farther from the land than any other point in the globe: 2,688 kilometers from the Pitcairn Islands to the north, one of the Easter Islands to the northwest, and Maher Island – part of Antarctica – to the south.
"Its most attractive feature for controlled reentry is that nobody lives there," said Stijn Lemmens, space junk expert at the European Space Agency in Darmstadt.
"Coincidentally, it's not biologically diverse, so it's being used as a dumping ground -" Space Cemetery "w That would be a more polite expression – mainly for cargo planes," he told AFP.
250 to 300 spacecraft, most of which burned down as they made their way through the Earth's atmosphere, were laid down there. He said:
By far the largest object that came down from the sky in 2001 to land at Point Nemo was the Russian space laboratory MIR, which weighed 120 tons.
"It is routinely used by the (Russian) army today – progress caps that go back and forth to the International Space Station (ISS)," Lemmens said.
Even the mighty 420-ton ISS will meet with fate in 2024 in Point Nemo.
In the future, most spacecraft with materials that melt at lower temperatures will be "doomed" so that they are less likely to survive reentry and hit the Earth's surface.
For example, both NASA and ESA are switching from titanium to alumium in the manufacture of fuel tanks.
China raised Tiangong-1, it's first manned SP Ace lab, into space in 2011. It was scheduled for a controlled reentry, but ground engineers lost control in March 2016 of the eight-tonne craft in March 2016 when it began its descent to a fiery end.
The likelihood that someone will be hit by debris from Tiangong-1 is, according to the ESA, vanishingly small, less than one in 12 trillion.
By the way, "Nemo" means "nobody" in Latin.
The Chinese Space Program – News, Politics and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com
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Earthbound Chinese Space Laboratory crashes into fiery end
Paris (19659048) AFP) March 27, 2018
An uncontrolled Chinese space station of at least seven tons in weight breaks open Earth on or about April 1 has been predicted by the European Space Agency.
"Because of the extreme heat generated by the high-speed passage through the atmosphere, it will mostly burn," it says in a statement.
Some of the debris from the Tiangong-1 space magazine – or "Heavenly Palace" – is likely to fall into the ocean or somewhere in the country, but the chances of human injury are negligible, Stijn Lemme said … read more