A runaway space lab that will crash back to Earth in the coming days is unlikely to cause any damage, according to the Chinese authorities, but instead offers a "great" show that resembles a meteor shower.
China's space agency said on Thursday that the nearly eight-ton Tiangong-1
But there is "no need to worry," said the China Manned Space Engineers Office (CMSEO) on its WeChat social media account.
Such falling spaceships "do not bounce wildly onto the Earth, as in science-fiction movies, but turn into a magnificent (meteor shower) and move across the beautiful starry sky as they head for Earth," it said.  The laboratory was orbited in September 2011 and was scheduled for controlled re-entry, but it did not work in March 2016, and space enthusiasts made a strong stand for their fiery return.
Beijing sees its multi-billion dollar space program as a symbol of the country's rise. It will send a manned mission to the moon in the future.
China sent another laboratory into orbit, the Tiangong-2, in September 2016, hoping to turn it into a manned space station in 2022.
Experts Did It All fears that the Tiangong-1 could cause damage when flung back to Earth have been underestimated, and the ESA noted that over the past 60 years, nearly 6,000 uncontrolled reentries of large objects have occurred without harming anyone.
The probability of being 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 (according to the Chinese Space Agency)
The increasing heat and friction cause the main structure It burns or explodes and should dissolve at a height of about 80 kilometers Res., it was 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 covered 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 larger things fell without casualties," said McDowell AFP
"This thing is like a small plane crash," he said, adding that the trail of debris is scattered several hundred kilometers apart.
At a height of 60-70 kilometers, debris begins to spin in "a series of fireballs," where local people will see "a spectacular show," he said.
China will step up efforts to coordinate with the United Nations Office on Space Issues as a re-entry, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters.
"I would like to emphasize that we attach great importance to this issue, and we have very responsibly dealt with the relevant laws and regulations," said Lu.
"What I've heard is the possibility that large amounts of debris fall to the ground is very small."
Earthbound Chinese space maze dipping to the fiery end