A Space Station Is About to Fall From the Sky—But Where Will It Hit?
The Tiangong-1 space station is expected to break apart in Earth’s atmosphere sometime between March 30 and April 2.
A Chinese space station is on a collision course with Earth, and the latest predictions say it could come crashing down almost anywhere on the planet sometime between March 30 and April 2.
Named Tiangong-1, which translates to “Heavenly Palace,” the craft was placed in orbit in September 2011. The station was designed to be a testbed for robotic technologies, and it has seen multiple vehicle rendezvous, dockings, and taikonaut visits during its operational lifetime. This activity lays the groundwork for a more permanent space station the Chinese plan to launch in the near future.
In May 2017, Chinese officials released their first report to the United Nations saying that Tiangong-1 had ceased operating on March 16, 2016. Although