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And while experts have assured that the bus-sized space station is likely to burn up upon its re-entry, there are concerns that surviving debris could crash into Earth at any location sitting 43 degrees on either side of the equator, which includes parts of the US, southern Europe, the Balkans, Argentina and New Zealand, Sky News reported.

The space station, which name means "celestial palace" in Chinese, was launched in 2011 and, after completing its scientific missions, was decommissioned in 2016.

According to the latest predictions, it will begin its fiery descent into Earth's atmosphere somewhere in a window between 30 March and 3 April - possibly around 1 April.

Most of the station is likely to burn up in the atmosphere but debris could hit Earth. It served as a test site for China to try out long-term stays in space and orbital docking maneuvers. That compares with a one-in-1.4 million chance of a person in the USA being struck by lightning.

Now the craft completes an orbit of the planet every one and a half hours at speeds of 28,000 kilometres per hour, with its trajectory varying between the latitudes of 43 degrees south and 43 degrees north.




European Space Agency has warned that "an out-of-control" Chinese space lab is about to fall on Earth in a few days. Nobody was aboard Skylab or the Salyut-Cosmos 1686 complex when they hit Earth's atmosphere.

Reduced to a 10 metre long, 8 metric ton piece of space debris, Tiangong-1's orbit has slowly but steadily decayed since, from a distance of over 380 km, down to now less than 300 km as of October 2017, to just over 200 km above Earth's surface, today. As per the scientists, the rotation will help them to know when the space station will collide with Earth. "These include the natural rotation speed, the manner in which Tiangong-1 breaks up into several parts, the time of the break-up and the actual weather conditions in space". So, the exact time of re-entry, down to the second, is going to matter a great deal.

"The thing that would be really nice, if it re-enters over Australia at night, is that we'll get to see a spectacular sight of the spacecraft breaking up and lighting up as it comes in like a meteor shower".

Wherever Tiangong-1 ends up, the chance of being hit by debris is extremely small - around one in 100,000 billion, according to Ansa.


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