Tiangong-1 Space Station Reentry Is Now An April Fools' Joke

This computer graphic shows objects in low Earth orbit that are currently being tracked
This computer graphic shows objects in low Earth orbit that are currently being tracked
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01 April, 2018

China's space agency said on Thursday that the almost eight-tonne Tiangong-1 will re-enter the atmosphere some time between Saturday and Monday.

The station's mass is now expected to be "significantly" lower, comparable with other end-of-life satellites, of which ESA said between three and four uncontrollably re-enter the Earth's atmosphere each month.

Scientists say the chances of anyone getting hit by the space-station's debris in one in a million.

China's space station Tiangong-1 that had lost control is expected to fall on earth within a few days, according to the warning issued by space agencies.

That band of re-entry points - between 42.7 degrees of latitude north and 42.7 degrees south - also includes China, Africa, southern Europe, Australia and South America.

As of Thursday, the space lab is orbiting the Earth at a height of 196.4 kilometers (122 miles).

While scientists don't the exact time or place, they do know that the space station will crash between 43 degrees north latitude and 43 degrees south latitude, which covers about two-thirds of the earth and 80 percent of the United States. "By comparison, the risk of being hit by lightning is 1 in 1.4 million, and the risk that someone in the US will be killed in a hurricane is about 1 in six million", the aerospace authority said in a public advisory.

An out-of-control Chinese space station carrying toxic chemicals is set to crash to Earth very soon.

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Predictions of Tiangong-1's most likely point of impact come from Aerospace, a U.S. research organisation based in El Segundo, California, that advises government and private enterprise on space flight.

If the space station does de-orbit over Australian skies, get ready for a hell of a lightshow.

NBC News explains only one person named Lottie Williams of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is known to be hit by space debris falling to Earth.

The Tiangong-1 was launched in September 2011 as a prototype for China's ultimate space goal: a permanent space station which is expected to launch around 2022.

The space station is too big - it weighs 9.4 tons and is about the size of a school bus, according to USA Today - to predict where the atmosphere could drag it.

The area impacted includes parts of southern MI. China has launched its second space station in a sign of the growing sophistication of its military-backed program that intends to send a mission to Mars in the coming years.

If you have been following the saga of the derelict Chinese space station Tiangong-1, an update pegs this weekend for the structure to plummet back to Earth and burn up on reentry.


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