As Predicted, Chinese Space Lab Falls From The Sky

As Predicted, Chinese Space Lab Falls From The Sky

China's dead Tiangong 1 space station rushed toward Earth on Sunday and was relied upon to re-enter the atmosphere within hours. The report says that most of the space station burned up on re-entry somewhere over the middle of the South Pacific Ocean.

Tiangong-1 was launched on September 29, 2011 and its service ended in March 2016.

China launched its second space lab, Tiangong II, in September 2016.

The Chinese government lost contact with the space station, whose name translates to "Heavenly Palace", 2 years ago and it has been in a decaying orbit ever since.

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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.

The US military's network of radars and sensors also confirmed that the Tiangong-1 had re-entered over the Pacific, but a minute later than the Chinese estimate, according to a statement by the Joint Force Space Component Command. The Chinese space station that has been plunging towards for years now has finalized the plunge.

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

The last space outpost to drop was Russia's 135-ton Mir station in 2001, which made a controlled landing with most parts breaking up in the atmosphere. As noted by the experts from Aerospace Corporation, the probability of falling on the head of the space debris is equal to one accident per trillion. Only a small amount of debris may reach the surface.

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"Tiangong-1 has carried millions of Chinese' space dream". The single-module station measured some 34 feet (10.4 meters) long and had a diameter of approximately 11 feet (3.4 meters). Huang Weifen, deputy chief designer of the Astronaut Center of China, said it played an important role in China's space history and provided "precious experience" for building a space station, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Speaking to Newsweek before the crash, he said that the Tiangong-1 reentering Earth's atmosphere was "not something we should be concerned about".

In June 2013, female astronaut Wang Yaping aboard Tiangong-1 delivered a lecture to students on Earth about physics, inspiring public enthusiasm for science and space exploration.

China in 2003 became the third country able to launch humans into space, following the former Soviet Union and the United States. It's likely that the drag would have quickly ripped off solar panels and antenna.

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