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China's 'heavenly palace' falling to Earth

China's 'heavenly palace' falling to Earth

A picture posted to Reddit by user Midnight Souls shows a streak of light over Wellington which they claim to be the doomed station.

Launched in 2011, the space station hosted two crews of astronauts in 2012 and 2013.

The Chinese space station Tiangong-1 is expected to re-enter the earth's atmosphere sometime next Sunday, although scientists still can not provide an accurate forecast.

Earlier on March 26, the ESA had released a map marking in green the probable locations where the out-of-control space lab could crash.

The UAE Space Agency on Sunday said that China's Tiangong-1 Space Laboratory's fall back to Earth poses virtually no risk to residents or structures here.

"It's more likely than not that this thing will re-enter over an unpopulated area and it may be that no one ever sees it", said Andrew Abraham, a senior member of the technical staff at the Aerospace Corporation, according to NBC News.

The last space outpost to drop was Russia's 135-ton Mir station in 2001, which made a controlled landing with most parts breaking up in the atmosphere.

The space station's path could change.

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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.

Due to its extremely high speed, imaging Tiangong-1 was very challenging to picture, according to the astronomers.

While scientists still don't know exactly when the space station will come crashing down onto the earth, they now predict that it will occur in just a few days, sometime between March 30 and April 2.

ESA said Tiangong-1 ceased functioning in March 2016 and scientists on Earth no longer appeared able to control it. The Chinese space station completed its mission two years ago, but still, it failed to fall back to the Earth.

That means some debris from the fireball could hit the Earth anywhere in a band between 43 degrees north and south of the equator.

Gov. Rick Snyder is activating Michigan's Emergency Operations Center to monitor a falling Chinese space station that could possibly hit portions of the state.

The Aerospace Corporation, a United States independent space research agency, says visibly incandescent objects will likely last up to a minute or more.


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