China's first ever space station will return to Earth in an uncontrolled descent during...

By Polycount · 6 replies
Mar 8, 2018
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  1. It seems asteroids aren't the only bits of space junk we have to worry about plummeting towards Earth's surface. China's first space station, "Tiangong-1," could be re-entering the Earth's atmosphere in early April via an uncontrolled descent.

    For the unaware, Tiangong-1 was initially launched back in 2011. At the time, China's space experts hoped, with frequent remote commands, the station's trajectory would lead it to burn through the Earth's atmosphere and harmlessly land somewhere in the South Pacific ocean. While that may not be a pleasant experience for aquatic creatures, such a landing zone would keep humans well out of the danger zone.

    At least, that was the plan. Unfortunately, the Chinese unexpectedly lost control of Tiangong-1 in 2016, meaning the station's eventual landing zone has remained a bit of a mystery. The good news is the European Space Agency (ESA) has been keeping an eye on the rogue station's trajectory, dutifully updating the public over time as they've acquired more information about the situation.

    To that end, the organization announced today Tiangong-1 will reenter the Earth's atmosphere "anywhere between 43ºN and 43ºS" - coordinates that would include countries like Spain, France, Portugal and Greece, among others.

    "...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,"

    If you happen to live in one of those countries, the ESA says there's little cause for alarm. "...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," The organization's updated Tiangong-1 FAQ reads. "In the history of spaceflight, no casualties due to falling space debris have ever been confirmed."

    It isn't just good luck that has led to zero confirmed human casualties, though. As Tiangong-1 returns to Earth next month, the station will be broken down into smaller, less dangerous pieces as it passes through our planet's atmosphere. As such, any bits that do happen to make it to a crowded area on the ground will hopefully be small enough to avoid causing any real harm.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2018
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,989   +2,371

    Yeah, we've seen it already, in Gravity. I guess that was just a prep.

    And here's how serious this is...

    And if someone warms up to the idea of an intercept missile, you should watch this...

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  3. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,530   +1,064

    Well...I'm not sure about you but China has made history quite a couple times, and not the good kind of history. Don't know how safe I would feel if I lived in one of those countries.
  4. alabama man

    alabama man TS Guru Posts: 511   +314

    And they have to pay no compensation and are free to do what they want. Europeans are such pussies, just dump all you **** where ever, ruin the oceans and air and pollute all you want, we will replace all our stuff with green energy to compensate for others and clean the oceans and send food aid... we should be as selfish as americans,russians and chinese are. Nobody cares so lets all just destroy this shitty planet together. I don't care if there's only a small chance of "real harm", there should be no chance of anything especially to people from other countries. They should have to pay for a free day and evacuation to a shelter for every european citizen, maybe that would make them design their space **** better.
  5. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,554   +876

    Shoot, they have already had several rocket boosters land on their OWN think they care if it lands on some other country.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,063   +1,338

    The Wiki says:
  7. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 402   +266

    I find it humorous that anyone would reference that terribly Gravity movie, but even more hilarious that nobody can simply calculate this station's re-entry vector. That tells us everything we need to know about modern spacefaring - which is that these dolts know almost zero about orbital dynamics, physics, or spatial mechanics.

    This would include fake-*** "Space-X" and Virgin Galactic and NASA and the Russians, as well as the Chinese. It's pathetic. They don't even know what Pi is, much less why the planets orbit elliptically. Almost everything these companies present is fake or fraudulent in other ways, from the ISS to the stupid fake-Dragon (I'm right here, rookies) and of course everything NASA-related.

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