Michigan officials have activated the state's emergency operations center to monitor the reentry of a Chinese space station this week into the Earth's atmosphere.
Tiangong-1 is expected to burn during entry, but some authorities believe that debris could land in the United States. The Aerospace Corporation projected that small parts of the 8.5-ton space station could land along a strip from Northern California to Pennsylvania, which includes the southern lower peninsula of Michigan.
"While chances are low, the debris will land in Michigan" We're watching the situation and we're ready to respond quickly, "said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and Commander of Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Department, on Thursday. "The state will rely on its existing satellite reentry response and recovery plan for necessary response protocols."
Debris could contain hydrazine, a toxic and corrosive substance
"Anyone who thinks they've hit rubble from the space station should report it by calling the emergency number and staying at least 150 feet away," state officials said on Thursday
The European Space Agency predicts that the station will be between Saturday morning and Sunday Back in the atmosphere – an estimate called "highly variable," probably because the ever-changing shape of the upper atmosphere affects the speed of the objects falling on it.] The latest estimate from the Chinese Space Agency re-enters Saturday and Wednesday.
Western space experts say they believe China has lost control of the station. Zhu Zongpeng, chief developer of the Chinese Space Laboratory, denied that Tiangong was out of control, but did not say what China would do to control the ship's re-entry.
Based on the orbit of Tiangong 1, it will come Earth somewhere between latitudes 43 degrees North and 43 degrees South, or about anywhere over most of the United States, China, Africa, Southern Europe, Australia and South America. Out of reach are Russia, Canada and Northern Europe.
Launched in 2011, Tiangong 1 was China's first space station to serve as an experimental platform for major projects such as Tiangong 2, launched in September 2016, and a future permanent Chinese space station
The station, whose name translates to "Heavenly Palace" means hosted two manned missions involving China's first female astronaut and served as a test platform for perfecting docking and other operations. The last crew left in 2013 and the contact was interrupted in 2016. Since then, they are increasingly distancing themselves from the earth while they are being monitored.
Read or Share This Story: https://detne.ws/2GEuPrm