Everyone has been following the news surrounding the Chinese Space Station Tiangong 1 and when it is going to make a re-entry into the atmosphere. Predictions were made that it will fall back to Earth somewhere between March and April. The latest analysis from the European Space Agency (ESA) predicts that it will re-enter the atmosphere between March 29 and April 9.
The exact position of where it will crash is also a mystery and according to the ESA, it could be “anywhere between 43ºN and 43ºS”. Parts of the United States, the Iberian Peninsula, China, the Middle East, South America, Australia, and New Zealand are all potential reentry locations.
The space station will burn up as it enters the atmosphere but there are chances that some small pieces of the station will survive the burning process of re-entry and will strike the planet. But, there is no need to worry as the chances of getting hit by the debris are a million times less than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot.
Tiangong 1 was launched in September 2011 by China. It was used several times to test spacecraft docking hardware capabilities. It was visited by Chinese astronauts twice in 2012 and 2103. The country has launched a new space laboratory, the Tiangong 2 in the preparation for a larger space station which China is hoping to complete in the early 2020s. It will roughly be one-fifth of the size of the International Space Station (ISS).
There is no need for alarm or concern of being hit by the space debris. There has only been one person in history that has been hit by falling space debris and she was uninjured by the small piece. All you need to do is keep your eyes peeled and you might be in for an awesome fire show.