China’s space lab Tiangong-1 may fall down to Earth anytime today or tommorow

A piece of Chinese spacecraft is due to fall down to Earth sometime between tonight and Sunday evening, according to the European Space Agency (ESA).

The Tiangong-1 space station above the Earth at 270km (Image: Fraunhofer FHR)
The Tiangong-1 space station above the Earth at 270km (Image: Fraunhofer FHR)

The Tiangong-1 (Heavenly Palace 1), which is about the size of a bus, was sent into orbit in 2011 for experiments as part of China’s space programme.

The European Space Agency (ESA) suggests that the station will “substantially burn up” completely and there won’t be any risk to human life.

Last week, radar images were acquired by the Tracking and Imaging Radar system – one of the world’s most capable such systems operated by Germany’s Fraunhofer FHR research institute at Wachtberg, near Bonn.

No object in Earth’s orbit has been so closely tracked as the defunct space lab Tiangong-1, which has spent the past few months tumbling aimlessly since its Chinese owners lost all contact with it in 2016, according to siliconrepublic.

 

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