Chinese space lab hurtles toward Earth

Chinese space lab hurtles toward Earth

The out of control Chinese space station Tiangong 1 mostly burned up on re-entering the Earth's atmosphere above the South Pacific on April 2, according to Chinese space authorities.

However, the ESA had predicted that Tiangong-1 would probably break up over water.

UPDATE: #JFSCC confirmed #Tiangong1 reentered the atmosphere over the southern Pacific Ocean at ~5:16 p.m. (PST) April 1.

"The biggest takeaway from this is that as we put more things into space, all countries, we have to be aware that we do have to plan for these sorts of issues that are happening", Tucker said.

In September 2016, China launched its new space laboratory, the Tiangong-2, which hosted its first manned mission with two astronauts on board between October and November, Efe news reported. The odds of any individual being hit by junk are viewed as less than 1 of every trillion.

Tiangong 1, the defunct space lab about the size of a bus, has always been expected to crash into Earth; it has finally done so. Its goal was to test docking technologies and other skills China needed to fine-tune before establishing a permanent space station, planned for the early 2020s.

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Many Western space experts think China has lost control of the station.

Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell explained to The Guardian that predicting where any could actually hit Earth's surface is next to impossible. Several space crafts or stations have re-entered our atmosphere in the past, and this most recent one is just another instance in which a person was not killed or injured. The single-module station measured some 34 feet (10.4 meters) long and had a diameter of approximately 11 feet (3.4 meters).

The Tiangong-1 was only supposed to operate for two years, but it lasted two-and-a-half years longer than that.

All in all, the station "conducted six successive rendezvous and dockings with spacecraft Shenzhou-8, Shenzhou-9, and Shenzhou-10 and completed all assigned missions, making important contributions to China's manned space exploration activities", said a memo China submitted in May to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

When Tiangong-1 hit the atmosphere, it was most likely traveling at about 17,000 miles per hour. There was no immediate confirmation of the final resting place of any remaining debris.

China said the experimental Tiangong 1 space lab mostly burned up upon re-entry Monday morning.

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