Chinese Space Station Will Enter And Break Up In earth’s Atmosphere, Pieces May Land in Michigan
An eight and a half ton space station will soon enter Earth’s atmosphere and break up.
But parts of it could survive all the way down to the ground, and they could fall in Michigan.
China’s Tiangong-1 space station, which was launched in 2011, was last used by Chinese astronauts in 2013.
Now it’s predicted to reenter into Earth’s atmosphere.
Originally Chinese officials said it would reenter late last year, but now it’s expected to reenter sometime around April 3rd, give or take a week.
That estimate is according to the Aerospace Company who says estimating a spacecrafts reentry due to multiple sources of uncertainty, such as the atmosphere’s density, the spacecraft’s orientation, and the exact speed and location of the spacecraft.
Aerospace says they are confident that it will fall somewhere between 43 degrees North and 43 degrees South.
This chart shows the expected reentry of Tiangong-1. The blue areas are where the station will not fall, while the green and yellow show areas where it is likely to fall.
The yellow being where Aerospace says they are most confident that the station will fall somewhere along those lines.
And if you look closely, that northern line passes through southern Michigan, up to near Grand Rapids.
If conditions are right and the spacecraft does fall in the line near Michigan, it may be possible to see the bright streak across the sky as it falls.
Those streaks could last up to a minute or more.
And when it does fall pieces may survive and impact the ground, but the chances of them hitting anyone is many times smaller than winning the lottery.
But if you happen to see a piece fall, don’t touch it as it may have a highly toxic substance called hydrazine on it.
Instead contact CORDS – the Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies – to report your location and time of sighting.