China has lost control of its Tiangong-1 space station
Chinese authorities have confirmed that they have lost control of the Tiangong-1 module. The space station stopped responding to commands from Earth. Weighing more than eight tons, the module could fall to Earth next year. Unfortunately, no one knows where.
Tiangong-1 module was the fulfillment of Chinese dreams of space exploration. „Heavenly Palace”, as the spacecraft launched in 2011 was called in the Middle Kingdom, it was expected to complete its mission next year. But now plans to deorbit it have changed because the module has stopped responding to commands from Earth and bringing it back safely may not be possible.
The worst part is that nobody has any idea where an object weighing nearly 8.5 tons might fall. Chinese authorities are reassuring, saying that most parts of the space station should burn up in the atmosphere. However, with uncontrolled entry into the atmosphere, there is no guarantee of this.
Do we have anything to fear?? Most of our planet is covered by oceans and the chance that parts of Tiangong-1 will fall on inhabited areas is really small. In addition, assurances from Chinese authorities that the module will burn up in the atmosphere are also confirmed by independent scientists.
Chinese Space Agency in recent days launched into space the successor to the unlucky module – Tiangong-2. On its base, China wants to build a large space station similar to the ISS.