Space station re-entry called mostly successful

Chinese authorities have said the roughly eight-tonne Tiangong-1 is unlikely to cause any damage when it comes down and that its fiery disintegration will offer a “splendid” show akin to a meteor shower

There was no immediate confirmation of the final resting place of any remaining debris. "Most parts were burned up in the re-entry process." the agency added. "According to my knowledge, we have not found any harm to the Earth's surface".

The space station formerly known as the "Heavenly Palace," originally launched in September 2011 and was viewed as a major step for the space agency in its quest to build a space station by 2020. But, the remote location likely deprived stargazers of a spectacle of fireballs falling from the sky.

"It did exactly what it was expected to do; the predictions, at least the past 24 hours' ones, were spot on; and as expected it fell somewhere empty and did no damage", said Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

"The JFSCC works alongside government, industry and global partners to track and report reentries, to include today's Tiangong-1 reentry, because the space domain is vital to our shared worldwide security interests", Major General Stephen Whiting, of the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, said in a statement. U.S. Strategic Command's Joint Force Space Component Command, working with eight other countries, confirmed the crash in a press release.

"That's all that happened", he said, as models used by experts to estimate a re-entry point pick the middle time in a return window.

The images considered the last of Tiangong 1 show it still intact.

All in all, the station "conducted six successive rendezvous and dockings with spacecraft Shenzhou-8, Shenzhou-9, and Shenzhou-10 and completed all assigned missions, making important contributions to China's manned space exploration activities", said a memo China submitted in May to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.




The ability of Tiangong-1 space lab module to support the work and life of astronauts, the environment control, operation and performance of the docked spacecraft and lab module were tested.

However, the satellite Tiangong 1 went out of control in March 2016 and had been floating in the space since then.

The European Space Agency had described the probability of someone being hit by debris from Tiangong-1 as "10 million times smaller than the yearly chance of being hit by lightning".

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (Foreign language spoken).

"The biggest takeaway from this is that as we put more things into space, all countries, we have to be aware that we do have to plan for these sorts of issues that are happening", Tucker said.

China launched another space lab, Tiangong-2, in September 2016.

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