5 years ago

China's defunct Tiangong 1 space station expected to fall to Earth early Monday

Arirang News
Arirang News
Shifting gears now… to a plummeting Chinese space station….
China's decommissioned Tiangong 1 is hurtling towards Earth and is expected to re-enter the atmosphere within the next few hours.
It was put into orbit seven years ago as a prototype for China's ambitious space program.
We now connect to our Ro Aram at the news center for the latest developments.
Aram…. do we have an exact time frame and location of the fall?

Well Semin… scientists have narrowed down a time frame to just after 10 a.m. Monday, Korea time, give or take a couple of hours.
The European Space Agency says that based on the Tiangong 1's orbit, location for re-entry will be between latitudes 43 North and 43 South.
That covers a large chunk of the middle of part of the planet, including all of Africa, most of South America, the continental U.S. from Boston downwards, most of China and even Korea.
The ESA says that is as precise as it can predict and it will have a better picture of the timing of the final plunge in the very final stages of the descent.
That's because Tiangong 1's interaction with the high atmosphere is unpredictable and since China has lost all control and communication of the module.

Aram,... this sounds quite scary,... should we be worried about falling debris?

Well no is the simple answer Semin… falling debris poses only a slight risk to people on the ground and the odds of anything hitting someone are considered less than one in a trillion.
You are much more likely to be struck by lightning or win the lottery.
Another thing to bear in mind is that space debris falls to Earth quite regularly and, as of yet, no-one has been injured.
Also, most of bus-sized Tiangong 1 will burn up on re-entry, with only about 10 percent of the eight-and-a-half-ton spacecraft likely to survive.
Any debris that does make its way through will also most likely splash down in the ocean.
Back to you.

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