The European Space Agency recently forecasted that the Chinese space station named Tiangong-1 would hit the Earth on around April 1. The agency also stated that some debris of the space station may fall into the ocean or may hit the land. But, that will not affect any human.
The agency in its statement mentioned, “It will mostly burn up due to the extreme heat generated by its high-speed entry through the atmosphere.” Informing more about it, Stijn Lemmens, an ESA space debris expert, stated that debris of Tiangong-1 would not lead to any human injury. Lemmens further added that he and his team had been observed around 6,000 uncontrolled reentries of large debris for 60 years. Most of the debris were satellites and rocket’s upper stages. From those space debris around 90 percent weighed 100 kilos or more. Lemmens stated, “Only one event produced a fragment which hit a person, and it did not result in injury.” As per the latest report, on Tuesday the altitude of Tiangong-1 was 207.7 kilometres.
The space station had participated in two crewed missions and one unmanned mission. Previously, the Chinese space lab had informed that the spacecraft will do a controlled reentry and will fall into the Pacific Ocean. But, in March 2016, the space agency lost its control over Tinagong-1. Then the agency released a statement saying the 8-tons space station is expected to make an uncontrolled reentry. It also informed that Tiangong-1 would break up while reentering the atmosphere and some of its parts will survive the process.
It is not for the first time since many years space debris has become a headache for space agencies. The major problem is now what will come back to the Earth, but what is still there in space. As per the report, around 4,300 satellites are still in space. However, looking at these consequences, scientists are now planning to develop spacecraft which can be demised during reentry.