ARLINGTON, Va. – The falling Chinese space station Tiangong-1 is staggering in orbit and could fall to Earth on early Easter Sunday (April 1), experts say.
Estimates for the Tiangong-1 crash will be between March 31 and April 1, with a focus on 10:00 am EDT (1400 GMT) on April 1, according to Aerospace Corp., which is following the case of the space laboratory. The April 1 target has a 16-hour error so the spaceship may possibly start its firefight anytime between Saturday and Sunday afternoon. An analysis of the European Space Agency also supports this reentry estimate. [China̵
But scientists and engineers still can not pinpoint where and when the 9.4-tonne space station (8.5 tons) will fall. Partly because the Tiangong-1 school bus size is falling, making it difficult to predict how atmospheric drag will affect re-entry time and spacecraft travel, Aerospace Corp. engineers said. on Wednesday (March 28). 19659006] "It's staggering," said Roger Thompson, a senior engineering specialist of Aerospace Corp., on Wednesday at the company's office. "We were able to confirm that there is a case, we just can not say the direction."
Aerospace Corp. confirmed with the help of US Air Force radar data and telescope observations, Thompson said.
In September 2011, Tiangong- 1 to test docking systems and other technologies needed for an even larger multi-module space station in the 2020s. The station was visited in November 2011 by China's unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft and two manned missions, one each in 2012 and 2013. [March59006] In March 2016, Tiangong-1 stopped communicating with its mission control center in Beijing China manned Space Engineering Bureau (CMSEO) to explain its mission. Tiangong-1 has been a space junk ever since.
Currently, it is expected that Tiangong-1 will fall somewhere between the latitudes of 42.7 degrees north and 42.7 degrees south to Earth, a line that borders the South Dakota and Nebraska in the north and Tasmania in the south ,
As the reentry day approaches Tiangong-1, satellite trackers can make more accurate predictions of where and when they crash. In a statement today (March 29), CMSEO officials said the public should not fear being hit by Tiangong-1 debris.
"There's no need for people to worry about their re-entry into the atmosphere, I'm not going to crash violently like science fiction movies, but look more like a meteor shower," it said a statement from the state-run Xinhua News Service.
You can still see the Tiangong-1 space station in the night sky if you know when and where to look and have good weather.
In fact, the chances of being hit by debris from Tiangong-1 are less than 1 in a trillion, a fact sheet from Aerospace Corp.
If you can see re-entry to Tiangong-1, you can submit your sightings via the CORDS website here to Aerospace Corp.'s Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies. Report.