Artist’s concept of the soon to fall Tiangong-1 in Earth orbit.
Credit: CMSA

 

The European Space Agency’s Space Debris Office in Darmstadt, Germany has issued a new update on the expected reentry of China’s Tiangong-1 space lab.

In a March 15 issued forecast, the current estimated window is roughly March 30 to roughly April 6, noting that the prediction of the 8.5 ton spacecraft’s fall is highly variable.

Credit: ESA

 

 

 

 

Reentry of the Chinese hardware will take place anywhere between 43ºN and 43ºS (which includes, e.g. Spain, France, Portugal, Greece, etc., as well as many other regions and continents.

Credit: ESA

Areas above or below these latitudes can be excluded.

 

 

“At no time will a precise time/location prediction from ESA be possible,” the Space Debris Office explains.

 

 

Tiangong-1 is the first space station built by China and lofted in late September 2011. The first Chinese orbital docking occurred between Tiangong-1 and an unpiloted Shenzhou spacecraft on November 2, 2011. Two piloted missions were completed to visit Tiangong-1: Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10.

Credit: ESA

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