Defunct Chinese space lab forecast to re-enter in Atlantic

Tiangong-1 reentry window forecast as of 27 March Credit ESA

It's been hard to predict the precise moment when Tiangong-1 will re-enter Earth's atmosphere, and where it will break up into pieces before it lands.

The US military confirmed the re-entry with a statement from its Joint Force Space Component Command (JFSCC). However, the agency emphasized the uncertainty around predicted re-entry information, stating: "At no time will a precise time/location prediction from ESA be possible". Expected to come crashing back to earth on April 1st sometime during the midday hours.

Most of the space station will likely burn up in the atmosphere but a few large pieces could make their way to Earth.

The UK is too far out of range to be hit.

The Manned Space Agency did not specify a time when it expects the craft to enter the atmosphere.

The space station is expected to re-enter the atmosphere at about 10 a.m. EDT Sunday, plus or minus 16 hours.

"It might be an orbit later, and then the whole window changes", Perlman said of the predictions available Friday afternoon.

Based on its current trajectory, scientists have said the space station could land anywhere from Australia to the USA with the southern part of Michigans Lower Peninsula included in the strip of the United States? from northern California to Pennsylvania? where it might crash down, the report said.

As for where it will fall, that band of possibility has not narrowed in the last day.


And, if you want even more of the science, follow the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques FHR.

It's since spun closer and closer to Earth, floating just 122 miles above the blue planet on Thursday, the China Daily previously reported.

Chances of the Tiangong-1 hitting someone on Earth is microscopic.

Aerospace Corp. reports that a Ms Lottie Williams of Tulsa, Oklahoma was struck by a small piece of space debris in 1996, but was unharmed.

The Aerospace Corporation's Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies (CORDS) warns: "Potentially, there may be a highly toxic and corrosive substance called hydrazine on board the spacecraft that could survive reentry".

The material is used as rocket fuel, but exposure to humans is believed to cause symptoms like nausea and seizures, with long-term contact said to cause cancer.

"In the history of spaceflight, no known person has ever been harmed by re-entering space debris".

As little risk as there may be of debris hitting someone, it's good practice not to take that risk if you don't have to, and good manners not to dispose of your space junk over someone else's country.

The station could fall anywhere between Christchurch in the south and London in the north.

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