Crashing Chinese Space Station Will Go Down Shooting - Fireballs

Oklahoma A Possible Landing Spot For Falling Chinese Space Station

Since then, the station's orbit has been decaying. When the Russian Mir space station was deorbited in 2001, Russia used a Progress cargo spaceship to make sure it re-entered over the Pacific ocean.

Tiangong-1 launched in September 2011 to test docking systems and other technology needed for an even larger, multi-module space station to be built in the 2020s. Where the space station will re-enter earth's atmosphere, and whether any debris will actually reach the earth, is still unclear.

Skylab, America's first space station, weighed almost 10 times as much as Tiangong-1 and when it crashed in 1979, pieces landed in Western Australia without incident.

"Compared to a meteorite, the lab is coming in slower and at a much shallower angle", McDowell said. The thrusters can not be turned on.

So far, an global space crisis has been avoided because of the good relationship between all of the space nations, including the United States, Russia, Europe and China, to name a few.

Often in such case, the re-entry trajectory is guided so that those pieces come down in unpopulated areas. Though the odds are slim that Tiangong-1 - or what's left of it - will land in someone's backyard, there are genuine hazards to note. Ditto for the penguins in Antarctica.

The difference between TRMM and Tiangong-1, though, is size. Still, it is impossible to determine where the station, which is now circling the Earth 16 times a day, will come down. "Only from one day before the actual reentry will it become possible to roughly predict which ground tracks, and hence which regions on Earth, might witness the reentry", the ESA reports.

Nasa's 77-tonne Skylab space station came hurtling to Earth in an nearly completely uncontrolled descent in 1979, with some large pieces landing outside Perth in Western Australia.

Capturing the spacecraft "was an extremely hard task" due to its speed, said Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, which collaborated with the Tenagra Observatory in Arizona to use a robotically controlled telescope.

That said, the likelihood of being hit by a falling piece of space debris is infinitesimally small - just one in a trillion, according to the nonprofit Aerospace Corporation. Please check your email for a welcome confirmation. We'd love to interview you for a story. In addition, trackers can not say with any accuracy where debris - if any - will land on the planet. In 1997, a 15cm piece of metal believed to have come from a Delta 2 rocket, brushed the shoulder of Lottie Williams, a woman in Tulsa, Oklahoma. "The debris will be spread over hundreds of kilometers along the line of travel". Forecasters have a pretty good idea of what the weather is going to be like on April 1 — the operators of this totally man-made and human-controlled spacecraft have only a rough idea when its going to fall out of the sky.

Ann Hodges being examined after she was struck by a meteorite, in 1954. As they reported on March 28th: "Tiangong-1 stayed at an average altitude of about 202.3 km". Check it out for more details.

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