A huge orbiting Chinese space station could crash to Earth in a fireball, space experts have warned.
The massive Tiangong-1 satellite, launched in 2011, lost radio connection with China’s space agency, and experts now predict it will re-enter the atmosphere within months.
The craft, whose name means ‘heavenly palace’ is now dipping into Earth’s atmosphere, and heading towards our planet.
Most pieces of space junk burn up on re-entry, but because of its size, pieces of Tiangong-1 might reach the ground.
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Scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) said in a blog post, ‘Owing to the station’s mass and construction materials, there is a possibility that some portions of it will survive and reach the surface.
‘In the history of spaceflight, no casualties due to falling space debris have ever been confirmed.’
Scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) predict that the satellite will re-enter the atmosphere between March 17 and April 21.
The ESA says, ‘Reentry will take place anywhere between 43ºN and 43ºS (e.g. Spain, France, Portugal, Greece, etc.). Areas outside of these latitudes can be excluded.
‘At no time will a precise time/location prediction from ESA be possible.’