Stop Easter Egg Hunting And Watch the Reentry of a Chinese Space

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target A massive spacecraft is expected to slam into Earth’s atmosphere sometime in the next two weeks.Based on reports from satellite spotters, China’s space station “Celestial Palace 1” will burn up in a blaze of glory anytime between March 28 and April 5.Tiangong-1 is China’s first prototype space station, serving as a manned laboratory (for the country’s first female astronauts) and experimental testbed.Launched in late September 2011, it was initially projected for deorbit in 2013. Now, no longer operational, the 18,740-pound spacecraft is just decaying in orbit.On a sort of pleasure cruise through the cosmos, Tiangong-1 will eventually be destroyed by the heat in Earth’s atmosphere, probably over Easter weekend. But it’s impossible to predict exactly where or when the unsteerable terminal will land.According to The Aerospace Corporation, it could re-enter anywhere between 43 degrees north and south of the equator. And while it’s unlikely any of Tiangong-1 can survive the scorching atmospheric impact, there is a small chance some debris will reach the Earth, falling anywhere from the flyover states to New Zealand.The relative probabilities of debris landing within a given region: Yellow is the highest probability, green lower probability, and blue zero chance (via The Aerospace Corporation)“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,” Aerospace said.“In the history of spaceflight, no known person has ever been harmed by re-entering space debris,” the company continued. “Only one person has ever been recorded as being hit by a piece of space debris and, fortunately, she was not injured.”Still, you might want to keep an eye on the sky over the coming weeks. If you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse, remember to report your location, time of sighting, a description of what you saw, and any images you capture to CORDS.(And, for the love of God, please don’t touch or inhale the vapors of any debris.)The largest object to re-enter the atmosphere is the 120,000 kg Mir space station, which returned in March 2001. Tiangong-1 is only 8,500 kg.center_img NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendHubble Captures Saturn’s ‘Phonograph Record’ Ring System last_img

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