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Abel Prasad Blog

I was explaining to my nephew about a Chinese Satellite that is now defunct and hurtling towards Earth and we don’t know when it will hit or where it might hit.

It poses only a slight risk to people and property on the ground since most of the bus-sized, 8.5-tonne vehicle is expected to burn up on re-entry, although space agencies don’t know exactly when or where that will happen.

So is anyone else worried?

The ESA has predicted it will hit from right about now but at the latest Monday. But the Chinese space agency’s latest estimate puts re-entry between Sunday and Wednesday.

NASA believes that China has lost control of the station.

Based on Tiangong 1’s orbit, it will come to Earth somewhere between latitudes of 43 degrees north and 43 degrees south, or roughly somewhere over most of the United States, China, Africa, southern Europe, Australia and South America. Out of its range is Russia, Canada and northern Europe.

Based on its size, it’s likely only about 10 percent of the spacecraft will survive being burned up on re-entry, mainly its heavier components such as engines. The chances of any one person on Earth being hit by debris is considered less than one in a trillion.

So I guess I should probably be staying inside then.

 

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