In case you had plans for tomorrow, maybe a roast or something, those plans could very well be interrupted a space station falling down on you and ruining your roast. Despite its relatively short mission, Tiangong-1 has sent back a host of valuable data. Officials thought they'd have more control of its descent, but the station stopped functioning in 2016, according to the European Space Agency.
The last time people set foot on the space station was in 2013. When the sun is more active and spurts more charged particles toward Earth, satellites fall faster. The Aerospace Corp. says it could land along a strip of the US that includes the southern Lower Peninsula of MI.
Ren Guoqiang, China's defense ministry spokesman, told reporters Thursday that Beijing has been briefing the United Nations and the global community about Tiangong 1′s re-entry through multiple channels.
The bus-sized Chinese space station Tiangong-1, known as "Heavenly Palace", is whipping around our planet in the final hours before it burns into Earth's atmosphere.
A piece of a space station is hurling towards earth with Chinese authorities now in close touch with the United Nations about its progress as it gets closer. That's part of why Tiangong-1 has taken longer to fall than early calculations suggested.
The website Heavens Above has a live tracker of where the satellite is above Earth at any given moment, and Space.com reports that it will likely be over the US around dawn the days of this weekend.
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As more information is garnered as to when the reentry will take place, the site updates with the most likely landing spot for the space station.
The intensifying heat and friction will cause the main structure to burn or blow up, and it should disintegrate at an altitude of around 80 kilometres, it said.
The space station has been slowing down and when it can't go fast enough to stay in orbit, it will reenter the earth's atmosphere.
According to experts tracking the station at the European Space Agency (ESA), it has the highest chance of crashing along a narrow strip around latitudes of 43 degrees north and south.
A statement from the non-profit Aerospace Corporation explains: "When considering the worst-case location, the probability that a specific person will be struck by Tiangong-1 debris is about one million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot". "We don't know where it will be on Earth over, at that time, when it actually enters the atmosphere".