China’s space station Tiangong-1 makes uncontrolled re-entry over Pacific

by | Apr 2, 2018 | China, Seradata News, space station

Those fearful of the miniscule risk of being hit by space debris from the re-entering Tiangong-1 had nothing to fear.The uncontrolled re-entry of the Chinese mini-space station occurred at 0016 GMT on 2 April 2018 over the South Pacific. Re-entry experts have put the re-entry location as being between Samoa and Tonga.

At 8.5 metric tons, the Tiangong-1 space station which was launched in 2011 was large enough for parts to survive re-entry – especially those elements made of stainless steel and/or titanium in re-entry survival-benign curved shapes such as tanks.  In this case, An surviving debris is believed to have safely impacted into the sea.

Illustration showing Tiangong-1 Courtesy: China Manned Space Engineering

Post Script: The re-entry was much later than Seradata predicted from the recent re-entries of other space vehicles.  We should have made more allowance of the Tiangong 1 craft’s larger mass and momentum.

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