China’s Tiangong-1 Space Lab Set to Fall to Earth Mar 30, 2018

 

 

 

It’s spring and as we look forward to the April showers to bring May flowers, there’s something else that’s going to be falling from the sky soon… a space station! It’s China’s first space station, Tiangong-1, or in English, “Heavenly Palace.” It was launched on Sept. 30, 2011, and while it’s guaranteed to re-enter the atmosphere, even if some of its debris survives re-entry, it’ll probably land in the ocean.

Tiangong-1 is the prototype for China’s space program and at launch, weighed 18,740 pounds. It’s 34 feet long and 11 feet in diameter, and has solar panels on either side. It was designed to be a livable lab for docking and orbital experiments and to eventually become a larger space station with multiple-modules. But, on March 16, 2016, China reported to the United Nations that they had lost telemetry services and couldn’t control the station any longer.

The Aerospace Corporation tells us that as it has been for a while, Tiangong-1 remains on a decaying orbit. That means as its altitude slowly decreases, its descent toward Earth rapidly increases and when the station reaches Earth’s upper atmosphere, shortly, the space station will make an uncontrolled reentry.

And the European Space Agency says the current estimated reentry window is anytime from midday Saturday, to early Sunday afternoon UTC time, but it’s still highly variable.

When it finally comes in, one thing is certain, if you’re lucky enough to be able to see it, the light show should be spectacular. Be aware that just in case, IF any Tiangong-1 debris makes it to the ground, it might be carrying or be made up of very toxic materials and experts advise against touching any space debris or breathing in any vapors it may release. So keep up with the updates and be ready to look up for a rare chance to see sparkling fire in the sky.

For WeatherNation – John Van Pelt.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweets

HAPPENING NOW - Flash Flood Warnings continue across Oklahoma through the afternoon with rain reports from today ne… https://t.co/n5fAlLQkUf

1 hour ago by WeatherNation

RT @NWSNorman: 12:50 PM - flash flood threat increasing across the OKC metro area. Please don't drive into areas where water covers the roa…

2 hours ago by WeatherNation

We're tracking showers and storms across the nation... Find us live on TV or one of our apps for the latest:… https://t.co/ZnDEbC96di

4 hours ago by WeatherNation

Flooding possible with heavy rain in the southern Plains: https://t.co/MFKdAA4UYR https://t.co/h3elQ69PfA

4 hours ago by WeatherNation

Hurricane Florence disaster response and recovery is in progress with NOAA: https://t.co/Z0aws8Ld3h https://t.co/iAjOpzNBGY

5 hours ago by WeatherNation

TO THE RESCUE - Our cameras were there as soldiers continue to help supply water and aid to those in need after the… https://t.co/aAhbqz2HN6

5 hours ago by WeatherNation

Severe weather risk from Illinois to Maine today. If you live in the ORANGE are be extra aware, you have the highes… https://t.co/jRYxf3fOC8

6 hours ago by WeatherNation

It's the last day of summer! Using a gif, how do you feel about the return of fall? https://t.co/OmfsuKgiGr

7 hours ago by WeatherNation

It's not just the Carolinas, flooding threats continue to rummage across the U.S. from the Upper Midwest to the sou… https://t.co/01Zkm7r2V6

8 hours ago by WeatherNation

More severe storms expected this afternoon. @EmilyRoehler has more: https://t.co/n3xWzWSUEw

8 hours ago by WeatherNation

Scattered showers and a few storms this morning #rain #storms https://t.co/VrN5aIC1V0

9 hours ago by WeatherNation

ICYMI - Strong Storms ripped across the upper Midwest with reports of several tornadoes as well. Today, that same t… https://t.co/2rDXmdoVi0

9 hours ago by WeatherNation

Who's ready for #FALL? Soak up the last day of summer, a new season is here tomorrow! https://t.co/lhVbNXggKf

11 hours ago by WeatherNation

We're getting new images of storm damage Thursday evening across Minnesota, this from Abby Mynor in Fairbault #MNwxhttps://t.co/4T5gyyKYs1

16 hours ago by WeatherNation

Watch as this lightning snakes across the sky tonight in Minnesota! #MNwx https://t.co/d7KOuQKzIM

17 hours ago by WeatherNation
Follow Us