The station will re-enter the atmosphere within the next two months. Image Credit: CMSE
The out-of-control station is due to re-enter Earth's atmosphere between March 24th and April 19th.
Originally launched back in 2011, China's prototype space station Tiangong-1 or 'Heavenly Place' was used as both a manned laboratory and as a test platform to demonstrate orbital docking capabilities.
A few months after it ceased operations in 2016 however, amateur satellite trackers noticed that it seemed to be out of control, something that was later officially confirmed by China's space agency.
As things stand, the station is set to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere within the next two months, bringing with it the risk (albeit a small one) of debris falling on a populated area.
According to reports, the region in which it could fall includes parts of northern China, central Europe, the northern US, New Zealand, South Africa and parts of South America.
The chances of anyone actually being injured by the debris however are infinitesimally small.
"When considering the worst-case location.. the probability that a specific person (ie, you) will be struck by Tiangong-1 debris is about one million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot," said research organization Aerospace.
"In the history of spaceflight no known person has ever been harmed by reentering space debris."
"Only one person has ever been recorded as being hit by a piece of space debris and, fortunately, she was not injured."
Source: The Guardian | Comments (167)