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Home / Science / Tiangong 1: Tracking the Earth-Falling Chinese Satellite – the latest information on when and where it will land

Tiangong 1: Tracking the Earth-Falling Chinese Satellite – the latest information on when and where it will land



Tiangong 1 China's disused and supposedly out-of-control space station is about to reenter Earth's atmosphere, and on Saturday the European Space Agency released new location information about the falling spacecraft. ESA officials are now targeting 19:25. EDT (2325 GMT) Sunday as Probable Re-Registration Time

Meanwhile, Aerospace Corp. forecasts. EDT (2030 GMT) crashes on Sunday, give or take eight hours

The tumbling spacecraft provides only a small risk to people and ground, as most of the 8.5-ton vehicle is on admission, though space agencies are not accurate know where that will happen.

Below are some questions and answers about the station, its reentry, and the past and future of China's ambitious space program.

<img src = "https://cbsnews1
.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2018/03/31/03fef570-f0ab-4816-9da7-3df1b2f163bb/resize/620x/46980f02d09b03fcc974045fb6b02a10/tiangong-ap- 18088394762534.jpg # "alt =" China Space [19659006] This image, published by the Fraunhofer Institute FHR, shows the shape of the falling Tiangong-1 space station in this radar image of the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Frequency Physics and Radar Technology near Bonn.

Fraunhofer Institute FHR on AP

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Where will it land?

No one knows for sure. On Friday, before updating the last window, Aerospace Corp. said the debris would most likely descend into the Pacific Ocean.

When the space station's fall was predicted on Sunday at around noon EDT (Aerospace has since shifted its forecast back to four and a half hours), an expert Space.com said that Tiangong-1 would likely begin its re-entry across Malaysia, and rain debris in the Pacific Ocean.

Earlier, Aerospace Corp. also, that it could land along a strip of US that includes the southern lower peninsula of Michigan. This prompted Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to activate the state emergency operations center to oversee the station.

Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Michigan's Deputy Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said, "The chances are slim that the debris will end up in Michigan, but the state is monitoring the situation and is ready to respond quickly." 19659002] ___

What will happen and what is the danger?

The European Space Agency predicts that the station will return to the atmosphere on Sunday night – an estimate that they still refer to as "very variable", probably because the change in the shape of the upper atmosphere affects the speed of the objects, who invade her.

Western space experts say they believe China has lost control of the station. Zhu Zongpeng, Chief Developer of the Space Laboratory in China, 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 to Earth somewhere between latitudes 43 degrees North and 43 degrees South, or about anywhere across most of the United States, China, Africa, Southern Europe, Australia and South America. Out of reach are Russia, Canada and Northern Europe.

Due to its size, only about 10 percent of spacecraft will likely survive re-entry into the air, especially the heavier components such as the engines. The probability of anyone being hit by rubble on Earth is considered less than one to one trillion.

"That's a big deal, as big as a school bus, and most things will just burn in the atmosphere," Mordecai-Mark Mac Low, curator of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, told CBS New York.

Ren Guoqiang, China's Defense Ministry spokesman, told reporters on Thursday that Beijing has informed the United Nations and the international community reopening of Tiangong 1 through multiple channels

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How common are man-made space junk [19659009] Wreckage of satellites, space launches and the International Space Station enter the atmosphere every few months, but only one person It is known that American Lottie Williams was beaten and injured by a falling piece of a US Delta II missile when she trained in 1997 in an Oklahoma Park.

Most famous is America's 77-tone skylab crashes Through the atmosphere in 1979, wreckage spread near the city of Perth in southwestern Australia, which confiscated the $ 400 for garbage.

The dissolution of the Columbia Space Shuttle in 2003 killed all seven astronauts and sent more over 80,000 debris to rain on a large strip of southern United States. No one on the ground was hurt.

In 2011, the NASA Atmospheric Research Satellite was considered a slight risk to the public when it came to Earth 20 years after its launch. Wreckage of the 6-ton satellite landed in the Pacific Ocean and caused no damage.

China's own space program was a source of concern after a missile killing a Chinese satellite out of service in 2007 and a potentially dangerous debris cloud.

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What is Tiangong-1 and what was it used for?

Launched in 2011, Tiangong 1 was China's first space station to serve as an experimental platform for major projects when Tiangong 2 launched in September 2016 and a future permanent Chinese space station.

The station, whose name translates as "Heavenly Palace", housed two manned missions that included China's first female astronaut and served as a test platform for completing docking and other operations. The last crew left in 2013 and contact was interrupted in 2016. Since then, they are increasingly distancing themselves from the earth while they are being monitored.

The station had two modules, one for their solar cells and motors, and one for an astronaut couple to live in and perform experiments. A third astronaut slept in the Shenzhou spacecraft docking at the station, which also included personal hygiene and food preparation facilities.

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How advanced is China's space program?

Since China's first manned mission in 2003 – after Russia and the US, only the third country – has been increasingly ambitious projects, including a spacewalk and the landing of his jade rabbit rover on the moon.

China now operates the precursor space station Tiangong 2 The 20-ton core module of the base station is scheduled to go into operation this year. The completed 60-tonne station is expected to go into operation in 2022 and operate for at least a decade.

China was excluded from the 420-ton International Space Station, mainly due to US legislation that prohibits such cooperation and concerns about the Chinese military connections of the space program. China's space program is still very secretive and some experts have complained that a lack of information about Tiangong 1's design makes it difficult to predict what might happen when it rejoins.

A mission to land another rover on Mars and bring back samples is scheduled to start in 2020. China also plans to become the first country to land a probe on the other side of the moon.


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