Tiangong-1 Space Station Mostly Burned Up On Reentry

Posted: Apr 2 2018, 12:56am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Tiangong-1 Space Station Mostly Burned Up on Reentry
Credit: ESA

The Tiangong-1 Space Station is no more.

The wait is over for the out-of-control Chinese Space Station to crash. The Tiangong-1 reentered the Earth's atmosphere at around 8:15 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 1 over the South Pacific.

The fears that parts of Tiangong-1 would crash over populated areas had no merit. The space station was mostly burnt up in the atmosphere, the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) said.

There are likely no images or videos showing the reentry of Tiangong-1 as it was daylight in the crash area. There will also no debris to be recovered as the remaining parts, if any, crashed into the South Pacific.

In September 2016, Chinese officials confirmed that they had lost control of the space lab. The initial reentry estimate was 2017, but now we are finally close to the end of Tiangong-1.

The 8.5-ton and 10m Tiangong-1 space laboratory, which means "Heavenly Palace”, was launched on Sept. 30, 2011. It was a major step towards China’s goal of having a permanent space station by 2022.

Despite the embarrassing end of Tiangong-1, it was a very valuable mission for China's space program. "The important role of Tiangong-1 would go down in China's space history. It had helped us accumulate precious experience in constructing space station," said Huang Weifen, deputy chief designer of the Astronaut Center of China, according to Xinhua.

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