Space Station Obliteration: Follow China’s Tiangong-1 as It Crashes to Earth
Thanks to online trackers you can now follow doomed Chinese satellite Tiangong-1 as it continues on its collision course with Earth. The only question now is whether you’ll see it hurtling towards your house.
Tiangong-1, China’s first-ever space station, is expected to crash into Earth in the coming days. You can follow its final journey on N2YO.com and Stuff in Space. A stream tracking Tiangong-1 has also been launched by The Virtual Telescope Project, but went down after posting for a time Wednesday.
Launched in 2011, the space station hosted two crews of astronauts in 2012 and 2013. It completed its service in 2016 and lost contact with Chinese mission control that year. It has been steadily losing altitude ever since and is set to crash into Earth in the coming days.
The European Space Agency said the satellite will crash to Earth “anywhere between 43ºN and 43ºS,” a vast chunk of the globe that covers the entire continents of Africa and Australia as well as most of South America and the entire Indian subcontinent.
Late last year experts from the agency namechecked Spain, Portugal, Italy, Bulgaria and Greece as potentially being in the firing line for any wreckage that doesn’t burn up when the ship re-enters Earth’s atmosphere.
Engineers from the Aerospace Corporation say that the craft’s layered construction might make the 8.5 ton vessel resistant to breaking apart. However, don’t fret too much – the corporation said that the probability that a specific person will be struck by space shrapnel debris is about “1 million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot.”