China’s ‘Tiangong-1’ space station may crash down in Europe
09 Nov 2017
The European Space Agency (ESA) has narrowed down the possible crash sites for China's out of control 'Tiangong-1' space station, which is expected to meet its a fiery end as it hurtles down to earth in 2018.
The agency will lead an international campaign comprising 13 space agencies from around the world to track the Chinese space station on its terminal descent towards earth.
The ESA said in a press release that much of it is expected to burn up on reentry into the earth's atmosphere.
According to the agency Spain, Portugal, Italy, Bulgaria and Greece could be in the firing if any larger pieces of debris from the station fail to break up completely in the atmosphere.
''In the history of spaceflight, no casualties due to falling space debris have ever been confirmed,'' the agency said.
China initially tried to keep the catastrophic failure secret but revealed in September that it could hit the planet at any moment.
Krag said, ''Owing to the geometry of the station's orbit, we can already exclude the possibility that any fragments will fall over any spot further north than 43 degrees North or further south than 43 degrees South, Holger Krag head of ESA's Space Debris Office said.
''This means that re-entry may take place over any spot on Earth between these latitudes, which includes several European countries, for example.
''The date, time and geographic footprint of the re-entry can only be predicted with large uncertainties. Even shortly before re-entry, only a very large time and the geographical window can be estimated.''