China Space Station plunging to Earth this weekend.

Tiangong-1 which literally translates to “Heavenly Palace” would be re-entering Earth’s atmosphere this weekend on April Fool’s day and scientists will not know where, until a few hours before it happens..

Tiangong-1.png
Source: Internet

Worry much? Do not panic. 

Possibility of this space station falling on a person is zero. This has never happened in the past. Since 70% of Earth is covered with water, it would take a nose-dive into the ocean. Although, in 1997, a women was hit by an object which was thought to be part of Delta rocket. She wasn’t hurt.

Also when the US’s 77-tonne SkyLab took an unexpected fall, it did not injure anyone and some of the parts were even collected. Considering this spacecraft weighs lesser than SkyLab, probability of debris falling on anyone is zero (like mentioned).

It seems China has not released any of the space station’s details, it is not possible to predict how much of it will survive the reentry.

D(ock)ropping Area 

Tiangong-1_Reentry_Map
Source: Wikipedia

The Space Station is right now moving at 17,000 miles per hour. so calculating a re-entry point for an object moving that fast is unpredictable or atleast before few hours from taking the fall. Space organizations like NASA, ESA are continuously keeping tabs on it as well as Earth’s atmosphere; including a non-profit company – Aerospace Corporation. As per the latest update, it will re-enter between 42.7`N and 42.7`S latitude but the longitude is unknown. This covers about 80% of United States and southern sections of Europe as well as much of China and Japan. As for nations in the southern hemisphere, that includes Chile, Argentina, Southern Australia and New Zealand.

Few words about Tiangong-1

Tiangong.jpg
Source: Shuttershock

Tiangong-1 was China’s first space station. It served as both a manned and laboratory and an experimental testbed to demonstrate orbital rendezvous and docking capabilities. It was first visited by series of Shenzhou spacecraft during its two-year lifetime. The unmanned Schenzhou 8 successfully docked with the module in November 2011 while the manned Shenzhou 9 mission docked in June 2012. A final mission was carried out by Shenzhou 10 docked in June 2013. The manned missions were notable for including China’s first female astronauts Liu Yang and Wang Yaping.

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