Chinese Space station plummeting to Earth

Chinese Space station plummeting to Earth
(Source: NBC News)
(Source: NBC News)

(WMC) - Roughly the size of a school bus, the Tiangong-1 is an out-of-control space station that is currently falling toward Earth. Expected to come crashing back to earth on April 1st sometime during the midday hours.

According to NBC News, what experts do know is that it is highly unlikely that large pieces of the Tiangong-1 will survive re-entry through Earth's atmosphere, much less impact any populated area, but even scientists are skeptical.

The Tiangong-1, which means "Heavenly Place," was launched in 2011 as a prototype space station. It hosted two astronauts while in operation but has been empty since 2013. In 2017 the Chinese lost contact with the spacecraft and was unable to control from Earth.

Now that it is on a path towards Earth, experts have been tracking the school bus sized object and believe the space station will fall somewhere between 43 degrees North and 43 degrees South latitude, but really have no exact location of where it will land. Only knowing a few hours before it re-enters.

The site Aerospace explains that the odds of being struck by Antigone-1 debris is "one million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot." Luckily, this means the odds are not good that you or your property will be struck.

NBC News explains only one person named Lottie Williams of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is known to be hit by space debris falling to Earth. Williams was struck on the shoulder by a small piece of a rocket's fuel tank in 1997 while out for a walk; she was not injured.

During the re-entry period for Tiangong-1, you might be able to see streaks in the sky, like a meteor shower, but that depends on several factors.

While the Tiangong-1 is a large object falling to Earth it is not the largest object to fall back from space, the MIR a Russian space station plummeted to earth in 2001 and landed in the Pacific Ocean.

Researchers believe that the even larger International Space Station will re-enter Earth and plummet to our ground sometime in the year 2028.

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