ESA: China’s Tiangong-1 space lab to smash into Earth in April

Tiangong-1 China Space Station

China’s rogue Tiangong-1 space lab is heading towards Earth and according to the European Space Agency (ESA) the space lab will hit Earth sometime in the first week of April.

The latest forecast is still not 100% accurate as it is not possible to determine with 100 per cent certainty when and where the space lab will hit Earth as it’s trajectory is still not completely known. Having said this, the ESA does point out that it is possible to reduce the timeline to just one week – i.e. between March 30 and April 6.

Also, the specific area of impact is also not known. But ESA believes that Tiangong-1 will fall to Earth anywhere between 43 degrees north latitude and 43 degrees south latitude. This is a huge part of Earth and effectively where most of the world’s population lives. Previous reports had said that the space lab has a high probability of smashing into Lower Michigan points out The Space News.

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

The Aerospace website illustrates a wide belt that shows most of the habitable parts of Earth. Lower Michigan is in one of two narrower zones of higher probability.

“When considering the worst-case location (yellow regions of the map), the probability that a specific person (i.e., you) will be struck by Tiangong-1 debris is about 1 million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot,” according to Aerospace.

While scientists believe that more than 40 per cent of Tiangong-1 will get burned up as it enters the atmosphere, the remaining chunks weighing up to 220 pounds will reach the earth’s surface intact in the form of space debris.

What could make the space lab’s crash worse is the fact that the space station is reportedly packed full of a toxic and corrosive liquid chemical called hydrazine, which is also used in rocket fuel. Long-term exposure to hydrazine is believed to cause cancer in humans.

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