China says unlikely large pieces of space station will crash to earth

China's space lab to fall back to Earth by weekend: Officials

China's space lab to fall back to Earth by weekend: Officials

China has launched its second space station in a sign of the growing sophistication of its military-backed program that intends to send a mission to Mars in the coming years.

Given that the Earth is around 71 percent water, and given that the majority of the space station is unlikely to survive re-entry into the planet's atmosphere - it's highly unlikely that anything on land will be affected by the falling debris.

A radar image of the Tiangong-1 space staion.

Tiangong-1 - which literally means Celestial Palace-1 in English - was China's first prototype space station used for laboratory services and to demonstrate the capabilities of orbital rendezvous and docking.

You can also follow ESA's Twitter account for the latest updates on estimated time and location of the space station's reentry.

The CMSEO said the probability of someone being hit by a meteorite of more than 200 grammes is one in 700 million.

But pieces of it could smash anywhere within a strip of land that includes Michigan's southern Lower Peninsula.

CORDS has zeroed in on early April 1, while the USA military's Joint Space Operations Center predicts an earlier re-entry at 5:52 p.m. PT Saturday, March 31, with a margin of error of 14 hours.

The odds of being hit by falling debris are extremely slim: one in 1 trillion.

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China's space agency said that the almost eight-tonne Tiangong-1 will fierily re-enter the atmosphere some time between Saturday and Monday.

If Tiangong-1 breaks apart in the MI night sky, it will look like a shooting star. Richardson said, "That whole chunk of the middle of the globe is still in the potential impact zone".

This isn't the first space station to fall to Earth. That's part of why Tiangong-1 has taken longer to fall than early calculations suggested.

Re-entry is expected to take place between the latitudes of 43º north and 43º south, though ESA warned: "At no time will a precise time/location prediction from ESA be possible".

Contact was cut with the station in 2016, and since then it has been orbiting closer and closer to Earth.

Aerospace has predicted that the spacecraft will burn up as it re-enters the atmosphere "around April 1st, 2018 07:15 UTC plus or minus 20 hours".

The space station has been slowing down and when it can't go fast enough to stay in orbit, it will reenter the earth's atmosphere.

"This thing is like a small plane crash", he said, adding that the trail of debris will scatter pieces several hundred kilometres apart.

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