It’s not uncommon for old satellites and other things from space to fall uncontrollably back down to our planet. However, these pieces of debris are nothing compared to the 19,000-pound Chinese space station which is currently falling from space too. Experts are worried because of its unpredictable route which makes it almost impossible to discover where exactly it will crash.
The name of the space lab is Tiangong-1 and it is currently unmanned. Experts expect it to crash into our planet in March, at an unknown date. According to reports, back in 2016, China lost control over this space station. After that, the Chinese government released a statement in which it revealed that the lab would crash down at some point in late 2017. Because of this vague prediction, experts concluded that the country had lost all of its control over Tiangong-1, including their ability to control when and where it will crash.
The free-falling Chinese space lab
According to an European Space Agency analysis, the space lab’s orbit will make it fall down on Earth sometime in March 2018, when it will uncontrollably crash in an unknown area. According to what astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell said back in 2016, experts will know with six or seven hours before the crash where and when it is going to happen. This doesn’t sound encouraging at all, especially if it happens to crash in a populated area where people might get hurt.
This doesn’t mean that the impact will be devastating. This is because most of the spacecraft’s parts will likely burn in the atmosphere. However, there will certainly be pieces of it left which will inevitably come down to Earth. Reports are saying that there is a 1 in 10,000 chance that those parts will fall in a populated region and damage something. Only time will tell where the space lab will crush and when it will happen.
Image source: nasa.gov