Debris from a defunct Chinese space to crash to earth

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This is a rare phenomenon, it was in 2001 when Russian space station Mir fell on Earth (ocean). Since the Chinese government has lost control of the station, it's hard to predict where and when it will fall.

The most likely outcome was that any pieces of the spacecraft that did make it through the atmosphere would land in the sea, which covered 70 per cent of the Earth's surface, he said. Abraham has been tracking the 18,000-pound space station since 2016.

Tiangong-1's re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere is being closely watched by the world, trying to track its crash location and the date. With Tiangong-1 out of control, though, there was and is now no telling exactly when it would fall out of the sky, nor is there a way to predict where it will fall.

China has dismissed reports that its Tiangong-1 space lab is running rogue.

The Aerospace Corporation estimates that Tiangong-1 will re-enter somewhere between the latitudes of 43° north and south, which is a range similar to other space junk that has fallen in recent years, including Germany's ROSAT satellite and the European Space Agency's GOCE satellite in 2013.

Given its status as a prototype, Tiangong-1 just isn't that big for a spacecraft, let alone a space station. In 1997, a woman named Lottie Williams was hit on her shoulder by parts of what was believed to be the Delta II rocket, but she was uninjured.

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Debris from Tiangong-1 may fall onto the above shadowed areas.

In the meantime, the upside of being within the zone that Tiangong-1 orbits is that the space station is visible from Italy.

The word "tiangong" translates as "heavenly palace" in Chinese, and while the 34-foot long space station weighs more than nine tons, it is still relatively small when compared to the International Space Station - which is 239 feet long, 356 feet wide and weighs more than 460 tons.

"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 European Space Agency says.

As for whether you might catch a glimpse of the station breaking up - which can be quite spectacular - it all depends on a few factors including location, time of day and cloud cover. In 1979, Time magazine wrote of the upcoming event: "Thus will be observed, after a series of miscalculations, the tenth anniversary of man's proudest achievement in space, the walk on the moon". "According to the calculations and analysis that have been carried out, most of the structural components of Tiangong-1 will be destroyed through burning during the course of its re-entry".

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