The Chinese space station “Tiangong-1” crashed. Upon reentering the Earth’s atmosphere, the space laboratory “burned up” for the most part.
China’s space station “Tiangong-1” had “largely” burned up on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere and crashed over the South Pacific Ocean, said the Chinese space agency CMSEO on Monday in Beijing. For a long time it was unclear when and where exactly the remaining debris would fall to earth.
Shortly before re-entering the atmosphere, the Chinese space agency had announced that the station would crash over the South Atlantic off the coast of the Brazilian city of São Paulo. Immediately thereafter, “Tiangong-1” then crashed around 2:15 am (CEST) in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. The US military confirmed that the Chinese space station had entered the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific.
China, which has an ambitious space program, exposed “Tiangong-1” in September 2011 in space. On the outpost in space coupled several manned and unmanned spacecraft, but since 2013 no Taikonaut more enter the space station.
“Tiangong-1” got out of control: Then “Tiangong-1” got out of control in space. In March 2016, the radio contact broke off – the eight-ton room laboratory could no longer be controlled and no longer maneuvered in a controlled manner into the earth’s atmosphere.
China sent its successor “Tiangong-2” into space in September 2016. By 2022, it will be used to create a large, permanently manned space station.
Space agencies around the world had closely followed the descent of “Tiangong-1”. However, the experts assured that there was no danger for humans. The European Space Agency (ESA) said the station is likely to plunge into the sea.
Just a few days ago, the Chinese space agency said no one would fear that the station would “fall wildly on the ground like in a science fiction movie.” Rather, she will transform into a “magnificent shower of falling snow, roaring through the starry sky to earth”.
No sky spectacle on the crash of “Tiangong-1”
However, the hopes of star gazers and astronomers for a spectacular sky spectacle did not come true. The space station had raced away over the fall in the largely deserted Pacific in daylight over Pöngjang and the Japanese city of Kyoto, said the US expert Jonathan McDowell. “It would have been great for people to watch the crash, but there will be more reentries,” added the astronomer from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Good was ultimately that in the crash nobody came to harm.
Also “Salyut 7” crashed
It is far from the first time that space junk collides with Earth. The largest part so far was the Soviet space station “Salyut 7”, whose fragments fell in Argentina in 1991 – without people were hit. The US failed in 1979 with the plan to read down its scrapped research laboratory “Skylab” about South Africa: It crashed over Australia.