Friday, 21 September, 2018

China's Tiangong-1 Space Lab Has Made Its Fiery Return to Earth

China’s Tiangong-1 space lab set to fall to Earth China’s Tiangong-1 space lab set to fall to Earth
Gustavo Carr | 03 April, 2018, 03:11

Space officials had warned that knowing the exact location of the re-entry would not be possible until shortly before it happened. State-run Xinhua news agency reported that the space lab was mostly burnt up in the atmosphere, quoting the monitoring and analysis of the Beijing Aerospace Control Centre and relevant organisations. In a statement, it had confirmed re-entry in coordination with counterparts in Australia, Britain, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and South Korea.

China's space lab, Tiangong-1, is expected to come crashing back to Earth in a fiery ball over the next 24 hours. Some scientists said the time window for its return had been narrowed to 12 hours and that it might fall by Monday morning. And, recently, the agency had updated that Toangong-1 would most probably fall to Earth between Friday and Monday. "The ESA had previously stated that the chances of any people being hit by the Tiangong-1 debris are 10 million times smaller than a person being hit by lightning".

This file picture taken on September 29, 2011 shows China's Long March 2F rocket carrying the Tiangong-1 module, or "Heavenly Palace", blasting off from the Jiuquan launch centre in Gansu province.

The module - which was used to practise complicated manual and automatic docking techniques - was originally meant to be used for just two years, but ended up serving considerably longer. That was months before the Chinese government acknowledged that the space lab would be re-entering the earth.

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.

Chinese space authorities say the defunct Tiangong 1 space station is expected to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere soon.

A Chinese spaceflight engineer denied earlier this year that the lab was out of control.

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Asked about the space station, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular briefing he had no other information and reiterated that China had been reporting the situation to the United Nations space agency in an open and transparent way.

China now operates the Tiangong 2 precursor space station facility, while the permanent station's 20-ton core module is due to be launched this year.

It also plans to send a manned mission to the moon in the future.

China's defunct Tiangong-1 space lab mostly broke up on re-entering the Earth's atmosphere above the South Pacific, Chinese and USA reports say. However, according to worldwide space law, all such debris belongs to the country of origin, regardless where it falls. "It helped us accumulate precious knowledge for work on the space station", Geng said.

Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. The tracking of space agencies around the world is done by radar. When the Mir space station was launched in 1986, Soviet space authorities boosted Salyut 7 to a higher orbit and abandoned it there.

Nasa's Columbia shuttle would also have to be classed as an uncontrolled re-entry.