Chinese Space Station Will Fall To Earth Within Months
China's first orbiting space station, Tiangong-1, was launched in 2011 and termed as the "potential political image" of China — part of a scientific push to wind up space superpower. However, Chinese officials declared on 2016 that they had lost control of the Tiangong-1 and it is expected to crash into the Earth within the next few months.
The 8.5-ton Tiangong-1, which means "Heavenly Palace 1," was utilized as both manned laboratory and an experimental testbed to demonstrate orbital rendezvous and docking capacities. The Long March 2F/G rocket was propelled in 2011 as a part of the main component of the Tiangong program, which plans to put a bigger, modular station into space by 2023.
In 2013, Tiangong-1 anticipated to be deorbited and will be replaced by larger Tiangong-2 and Tiangong-3 modules. The manned engineering office for the agency said in March 2014 that space station was "in stable and normal condition with all systems operating normally and consumable resources meeting needs of follow-up tasks."
However, the Chinese officials confirmed in 2016 that they had lost control of the Tiangong-1 and it would probably crash to Earth. China's space organization informed the United Nations (UN) that the space station is expected to come down to Earth between October 2017 and April 2018.
Out-Of-Control Chinese Space Station
"Most of the structural components of Tiangong-1 will be destroyed through burning during the course of its re-entry. The probability of endangering and causing damage to aviation and ground activities is very low," as indicated by a statement. The station may heat up in the space sooner or later but it is still unknown how much harm it would cost when collides with the Earth.
"Now that [its] perigee is below 300km and it is in denser atmosphere, the rate of decay is getting higher," said Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at Harvard University, "I expect it will come down a few months from now - late 2017 or early 2018."
McDowell additionally said that some parts weighing as much as 100 kilograms could crash-land to Earth with researchers unable to foresee where it will descend until just hours beforehand. China is also currently observing the re-entry process of the Tiangong-1 and guaranteed to give updates through enhancing monitoring and forecasting.
On the other note, China has its particular space station since it is not permitted on the International Space Station like different countries are. In 2011, law prevents NASA to team up with the Chinese space program because of the national security concerns.