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Tiangong 1: Out of control Chinese space station about to fall to Earth, expert says

Tiangong 1: Out of control Chinese space station about to fall to Earth, expert says

THE INDEPENDENT reports:

An out-of-control space laboratory is falling towards the Earth and will crash land soon, experts say.

The Chinese space station is accelerating its fall towards us and will reach the ground in the coming months, Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell told the Guardian. It is decaying quickly and he expects “expect it will come down a few months from now – late 2017 or early 2018”, he told the paper.

The Tiangong 1 station was launched in 2011 as one of the great hopes of the Chinese ambitions in space, and as part of a plan to show itself off as a global superpower. The country’s space agency referred to the station as the “Heavenly Palace” and conducted a range of missions, some of which included astronauts.

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It's very difficult to predict where it will fall because engineers have lost control of the capsule and it will be thrown around by the wind as it comes down. Even a slight push from the weather could send it from one continent to the next.

Much of the debris will burn up on its way into Earth's atmosphere. But chunks as big as 100kg will make their way through and fall from the skies, said McDowell.

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