Where on earth will the Chinese space station crash?

Where on earth will the Chinese space station crash?

Where on earth will the Chinese space station crash?

A Chinese space station the size of a school bus is expected to fall to Earth, and two-thirds of the planet are in the potential impact zone.

World News - An out-of-control Chinese space station is expected to plunge to Earth in about a week.

China's 8.5-ton space station will come crashing down to Earth from Saturday onwards, the country's space authorities said, although they cannot confirm where it is likely to hit. China's free-falling space station weighs in at a little less than 19,000 pounds.

Once the satellite falls below 200 kilometres above earth, tracking radar in western Europe would pick it up before it reached Italy and allow authorities to sound the alarm, according to this graphic from ASI.

The latest estimate for re-entry is between 30 March and 2 April.

Following a meeting with the Italian Civil Protection Department, which prepares for and manages disasters, the ASI said Tiangong-1 could potentially crash around south-central Italy. In 2016, China announced it had lost contact with Tiangong-1 and could therefore no longer control its direction, making predicting where it will end up hard.

The Italian Space Agency (ASI) cautioned on Monday there is a slim chance Tiangong-1 will plummet towards central Italy in the coming days.

China sent two crewed missions to the outpost while it was still operational, but the space station has hosted no astronauts since 2013.

Space weather and the orientation of the spacecraft create uncertainty about the timing of Tiangong-1's re-entry.

Their space development plans lead to their first space station, Tiangong-1, in 2011.

"The personal probability of being hit by a piece of debris from the Tiangong-1 is actually 10 million times smaller than the yearly chance of being hit by lightning", the European Space Agency says.

In the past, there have been several crash landings of space stations, including NASA's 77-tonne Skylab in 1979 and the Soviet Union's 20-tonne Salyut 7 space station in 1991, but there haven't been any casualties. Daily updates on its official website have tracked its gradual descent - average altitude as of Tuesday was 207.7 km - but not much else.

Space lawyer Kim Ellis said it would mean the federal government could present a claim for damage to China should Tiangong-1 collide with and damage a satellite from Australia or damage people or property within Australia.

As for whether you might catch a glimpse of the station breaking up - which can be quite spectacular - it all depends on a few factors including location, time of day and cloud cover.

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