China's space station Tiangong-1 may crash land on Earth soon, but at least one engineer disputes that claim.
It’s been about six years since the Chinese space agency launched space lab Tiangong-1, and now authorities expect it to come crashing down to Earth in the coming months. However, authorities do not expect it to threaten anyone on the ground, and in fact most of the space lab is expected to burn up upon reentry.
Tiangong-1 had been planned for decommissioning all the way back in 2013, but China continued to extend its life. However, since then China has appear to lose control of Tiangong-1, and it is expected to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere in the next few months.
However, China argues that most of the space lab will burn up in the atmosphere, and what debris does fall will land in a designated area far from any human contact, and they say it won’t contaminate the environment either.
“We have been continuously monitoring Tiangong-1 and expect to allow it to fall within the first half of this year,” Zhu Congpeng, a top engineer at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, told Science and Technology Daily. “It will burn up on entering the atmosphere and the remaining wreckage will fall into a designated area of the sea, without endangering the surface.”