Chinese space station packed with cancerous chemicals plunges earthwards
03 Jan 2018
Tiangong-1, China's runaway space station is packed with rocket fuel hydrazine which could also cause nerve and liver damage from long-term exposure.
Most of the satellite will burn up while re-entering the atmosphere in March but up to 40 per cent of it could survive as debris.
Mail Online reported that Aerospace Corp which provides advice and technical guidance on space missions has raised fears about exposure to the lethal chemical.
A statement said, "Potentially, there may be a highly toxic and corrosive substance called hydrazine on board the spacecraft that could survive re-entry.
"For your safety, do not touch any debris you may find on the ground nor inhale vapours it may emit."
Hydrazine a colourless, oily liquid is highly reactive and used for industrial, agricultural and military purposes.
The space station launched in 2011 to serve as a manned laboratory but contact with it was lost last year.
Though China was initially tight-lipped on Tiangong-1, it released a statement in September which predicted it would crash into earth in the latter part of 2017.
According to experts, a March 2018 uncontrolled entry is more likely and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says countries at risk include Spain, Turkey, India, Italy and parts of the US.
EPA experts have expressed confidence that the debris will not land further north than 43°N or further south than 43°S.
Tiangong-1 or ''Heavenly Place'' - served as China's first ever crewed space station. It weighs around 19,000 pounds and is also quite dense. It has been estimated that around 10 to 40 per cent of a spacecraft will make it down the ground, which is not much for small satellites, that's not much, but for Tiangong-1, it works out to between 2,000 and 8,000 pounds.