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How to track the spiral Chinese space station when it falls out of orbit

China's spiraling Tiangong-1 space station appears to be plunging into the atmosphere and burning on April 1 – although where it will fall is still under debate. So if you want to keep track of the whereabouts of Tiangong-1 over the weekend, there are numerous space agencies and websites to follow.

First of all a reminder: This space station is the last you have to worry about. Tiangong-1 has been upplayed as it is particularly heavy and dense, so that large chunks of it will survive down to the ground. In addition, China has lost the ability to control the station from Earth, so the country's space agency can not simply dump the station across the open ocean. That is, the chances of Tiangong-1

collapsing with a person or house are vanishingly small. And if you feel better, a piece of space debris fell almost as hard as Tiangong-1 on Earth earlier this year. nobody was panicked and nobody was hurt

But maybe you just can not stop worrying about Tiangong-1. We get it. These web pages will help you to follow the descent:


If you are looking for a map where Tiangong-1 is in orbit at all times, SatView is your friend. The website shows you the projected way of the space station and where it is at any time above the earth. It also contains maps of predicted reentry points based on modeling by the United States Web site and Strategic Command – a unit of the military responsible for tracking space debris.

The European Space Agency

ESA's Space Debris Bureau has created a daily blog about the size of Tiangong-1, along with the most recent re-entry date. The page also links to the helpful FAQ page of ESA, where you can find out all the facts about the station.

The Aerospace Corporation

This California-based, nonprofit organization provides orientation and research on space missions go-to resource for all things space debris. The company's website has created a full page dedicated to the tracking of Tiangong-1 and details about the vehicle, its current location and when it is likely to plunge into the atmosphere. There's even a funny animated video showing what the spaceship's reentry will look like.

China's Space Agency

In mid-March, China released daily updates on the status of Tiangong-1 according to the GB Times . The agency's updates are succinct and provide the latest details about the height of the station, its orbit and when Tiangong-1 is expected to fall.


Not a few space enthusiasts follow the saga of Tiangong-1, too. Jonathan McDowell an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Space Litter Enthusiasts, was a valuable treasure in tracking the station (which is why you may have seen him in most articles about Tiangong). 1). Marco Langbroek who describes himself as a "spy satellite tracker", has also regularly posted updates – and maps! – on his Twitter account

And if you just can not get enough …

If you want to talk to other space enthusiasts about Tiangong-1, there is a forum for that. NASASpaceflight.com has a forum post dedicated to the space station that stretches to the start of the vehicle. This is the page where you can improve your tracking skills.

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