nsucurrent.com April 24, 2018

Space station the size of a bus to fall from the sky

28 March 2018, 01:04 | Colleen Roy

Enlarge Image

Enlarge Image

A 9.3-ton (8.5 metric tons) mass of metal careening out of orbit toward some unknown location in Earth's vast middle has some folks anxious, but it represents no meaningful danger to the public.

Within that zone, however, is where most of the Earth's population resides. "The worst would be if some debris came down in a [populated] area".

China's Tiangong-1 space station is predicted to enter Earth's atmosphere sometime during Easter weekend, but the exact location of its re-entry remains a mystery.

It settled into an orbit about 217 miles (350 kilometers) above Earth without anyone aboard.

The Tiangong-1, Chinese space station was initially launched in September 2011.

The 9.4-ton (8.5 metric tons) Tiangong-1 is about 34 feet long by 11 feet wide (10.4 by 3.4 meters) and features 530 cubic feet (15 cubic m) of habitable internal volume. He has been tracking the 18,000-pound space station since 2016.

The European Space Agency (ESA) said re-entry "will take place anywhere between 43ºN and 43ºS" which covers most of the world's populated areas.

Enlarge Image The doomed Chinese
Enlarge Image The doomed Chinese"Heavenly Palace space station moves across the night sky. Gianluca Masi Virtual Telescope Project

It is thought that the Tiangong-1, which officially terminated its data communications with ground control on March 16, may fall and crash to the ground or hit the sea between 43 degrees north and south of the equator at an unknown longitude. It is assumed that China is unable to control or communicate with the station, though Chinese officials have not confirmed that.

There is uncertainty with any spacecraft reentry and most of that comes down to the density of the upper atmosphere.

There are approximately 20,000 objects orbiting our Earth that have to be constantly tracked by the likes of ESA and NASA to make sure valuable space assets are safe from collisions with leftover space debris objects.

But even among controlled re-entries, the upcoming, uncontrolled descent of tiny Tiangong-1 will be a blip.

Don't worry. According to space debris experts, the chances that you personally will be hit by of a chunk of space metal are essentially zero - less than one in a trillion. "It is still technically property of China", he says.

"Even a couple of days before it re-enters we probably won't know better than six or seven hours, plus or minus, when it's going to come down", Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell told The Guardian in 2016. "Now, the caveat in that is that individuals would not be free to go and sue the Chinese government".

In a May 2017 statement to the United Nations, representatives from the Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China also said Tiangong-1 will pose little threat to Earth's inhabitants.

Other News

Trending Now

Big Pokemon Go update will bring all new (and Mew) content
While you'll be free to complete as many objectives in a day as you'd like, you'll only be able to receive one stamp per day. Earn seven Stamps, and you'll achieve a "Research Breakthrough", which could result in a fight with a legendary Pokemon .

Rising risks - on Fed rate hike
The statement also declared, in a change from January, that " the economic outlook has strengthened in recent months ". A portion of the voting membership of the committee rotates every year among the Fed's regional bank presidents .

Supreme Court Spikes Pennsylvania GOP's Final Hopes Over New Map
Alito Jr. turned down the state's first request on February 5, after the state supreme court ordered a new map. There are few legal options left for Republicans in the state.

Salah on his way to Messi level
Only last month Salah dismissed any rumours linking him with a possible move to Real Madrid , as the 25-year-old stated his happiness on Merseyside.

Heavy, wet snow to blanket most of the area overnight into Saturday
Outside of a late Saturday night through early Sunday flurry or snow shower, the rest of the forecast should be flake-free. So far, no further make-up days have been added to the school calendar, school officials said Thursday .

New Mexico unemployment rate dips to 5.8 percent in January
It said the number of unemployed people aged 15 years and over-3.45 million last year-increased by 124,000, year-on-year. The number of workers unemployed in OH in February was 262,000, down 9,000 from 271,000 in January.

Police, Protesters Clash in Barcelona After Separatist Leader's Arrest
Spain's Supreme Court ruled on Friday that 25 Catalan leaders would be tried for rebellion, embezzlement or disobeying the state. A Spanish Supreme Court judge reactivated an global warrant for Puigdemont on Friday when he was visiting Finland .

Watch the official trailer for 'Avengers: Infinity War' and then scream
From viewing the Infinity War trailer , it's easy to pinpoint who did not appear. "I could project all kinds of stuff". I'm sure we will see more of Thor - but as far as his brother, Loki - we're not so sure.

Real continue to court Neymar
Therefore, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez "cannot relax" and must push forward with his club's interest. Madrid have already essentially handed their title back to Barcelona with their big guns failing to fire.

Toys "R" Us Reveals Cause Of Bankruptcy
Strategic Marks bought the KB Toys brand from Bain Capital in 2016, the same company that bought Toys R Us in 2006. Last week, Toys R Us announced it would liquidate the inventory in its 735 USA stores.