Chinese space station crashes to Earth

Chinese space station crashes to Earth

The space station was officially to be decommissioned in 2013 but its operational life was repeatedly extended.

"There have been 13,000 tonnes of space hardware coming down in the whole history of spaceflight and there has not been a single casualty reported", Holger Krag, head of European Space Agency's Space Debris Office, told Reuters TV. The re-entry of the 10 meter-long space station was said to have occurred in the Pacific Ocean. The Chinese space agency said it should happen during the course of Monday Beijing time.

The huge interest surrounding the space station is partly due to the odds of any crash debris landing over civilian areas.

China's space station Tiangong-1, which had spiralled out of control while falling from space after becoming defunct, has splashed in South Pacific.

Scientists monitoring the craft's disintegrating orbit had forecast the craft would mostly burn up and would pose only the slightest of risks to people.

Brad Tucker, an astrophysicist at Australian National University, said the remnants of Tiangong-1 appeared to have landed about 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Tahiti. "The predictions, at least the past 24 hours' ones, were spot on and as expected it fell somewhere empty and did no damage".

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Tiangong-1 had not been occupied for three years, so there was no way of knowing for certain where it would land. For example, if a plane that is shaking around and tumbling, its more hard to evaluate its landing zone.

The Tiangong-1, launched in 2011, is China's first ever orbital station and served as an experimental platform for the country's ambitious space program. It worked as a platform which supported a bigger project like Taingong-2.

Tiangong-1 is not the first space station to crash back to Earth. It started for development of the technology of rendezvous and docking of spacecraft.

China lost control of the space station around two years ago in June 2016 making it float arbitrary in Earth's orbit. "It had helped us accumulate precious experience in constructing space station", said Huang Weifen, deputy chief designer of the Astronaut Center of China, according to Xinhua.

Nobody knew exactly when or where it would fall, just that it was headed to Earth.

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