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Chinese Space Station could Crash in Michigan This Weekend

01 April 2018

Tiangong-1, like everything else in orbit around the Earth, is speeding at about 17,000 miles per hour, circling the planet more than a dozen times a day. Want to watch the satellite plunge to earth in real time?

"It's not impossible, but since the beginning of the space age. a woman who was brushed on the shoulder in Oklahoma is the only one we're aware of who's been touched by a piece of space debris", Ailor said.

Although as most of the Earth is covered in water, the chances of being struck by space debris are extremely slim. The space station is now on a slowly decaying orbit as its altitude decreases picks up speed as it re-enters Earth's atmosphere.

The Tiangong-1 space craft is expected to tear across the sky - similar to that of a meteor shower - once it plummets into the Earth's atmosphere somewhere between today and Easter Monday.

"Tiangong-1 is the size of a school bus".

"If the entry time is off, then it could go anywhere within that range and we don't know what the re-entry time is", Scaringi said.

As the Air Force tracks an object and releases new information about its orbital position, scientists work to predict when precisely it will actually fall given all the questions they can't answer about its journey.

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The path of China's Tiangong-1 shows where the module crosses over New Zealand, putting the lower North Island-upper South Island in potential danger of falling debris.

China was excluded from the 420-ton International Space Station mainly due to US legislation barring such cooperation and concerns over the Chinese space program's strong military connections. The Tiangong, or Heavenly Palace, is orbiting at an average height of about 216.2 kilometers, the announcement noted, but did not disclose any reentry location.

The Tiangong-1 first launched in 2011 and survived longer in space than its original two-year lifespan, according to Mashable.

"They had people there doing scientific experiments at the time". A third astronaut slept in the Shenzhou spaceships that docked with the station, which also contained facilities for personal hygiene and food preparation. Such an increase in density would have pulled the spacecraft down sooner, it said.

China had been responsible and transparent, Lu said.

Going from the past satellite crashes, including NASA's 77-tonne Skylab in 1979 and the Soviet Union's 20-tonne Salyut 7 space station in 1991, there haven't been any casualties.

Chinese Space Station could Crash in Michigan This Weekend