China's Tiangong-1 space station to crash to Earth within weeks

Where and when will Chinese satellite Tiangong-1 crash - and could it hit me?

The chances of debris hitting were slightly higher in New Zealand, northern China, the Middle East, central Italy, northern Spain, the northern states of the US, Australia's Tasmania, parts of South America and southern Africa, Aerospace said.

Tiangong-1 potential re-entry area.

After the craft lost radio connection with China's Space Agency after being launched in 2011, it began to slip into a lower and lower orbit, and it just started dipping into Earth's atmosphere. Experts have predicted the out-of-control space station will crash into the earth's atmosphere in just a few weeks.

The European Space Agency suggests a "highly variable" re-entry window from 29 March to 9 April, and The Aerospace Corporation roughly agrees. Speaking to Newsweek, he advised that the Tiangong-1 re-entering Earth's atmosphere is "not something we should be concerned about".

"There is a chance that a small amount of debris from the module will survive reentry and impact the ground. Should this happen, any surviving debris would fall within a region that is a few hundred kilometres in size and centered along a point on the Earth that the station passes over".

According to the report, Tiangong-1 is expected to re-enter the Earth somewhere between 43-degrees north and 43-degrees south latitudes.

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No-one has ever been hit by part of a spacecraft and only one person is known to have been hit by a piece of "space junk": in 1997 Lottie Williams was walking through a park in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at 04:00 when some mesh debris from a second-stage Delta rocket hit her on the shoulder.

"When considering the worst-case location... the probability that a specific person (i.e., you) will be struck by Tiangong-1 debris is about one million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot", it added.

In 2016, China had admitted that it lost control of Tiangong-1, making it impossible to perform a controlled re-entry. It warned that the space station might be carrying a highly toxic and corrosive fuel called hydrazine.

"Even a couple of days before it re-enters we probably won't know better than six or seven hours, plus or minus, when it's going to come down", Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell told The Guardian in 2016. And in 1979, NASA's Skylab space station hit Earth in an nearly completely uncontrolled descent, landing some large debris outside Perth in Australia.

In 1991, the Soviet Union's Salyut 7 space station crashed to Earth, scattering debris over the Argentinean town of Capitán Bermúdez. Liu Yang was the first Chinese female astronaut who visited there in 2012.

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.

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