When the Chinese space agency launched its space lab Tiangong-1 in 2011, little did they expect it to come ‘crashing’ back to Earth six years later.
The Asian country’s first space station that was hailed as a potent political symbol of China’s growing power, is expected to crash land some time this year or early 2018.
The Chinese space station is accelerating its fall towards us and will reach the ground in the coming months, Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell told the Guardian. It is decaying quickly and he expects “expect it will come down a few months from now – late 2017 or early 2018”, he said.
Tiagong-1 was launched in 2011 in a bid to turn China into a space superpower. It was used for both manned and unmanned missions and was visited by China’s first female astronaut, Liu Yang, in 2012.
However, in 2016, Chinese officials said that they have lost control of the space station and that pieces as heavy as 100 kg may land on to the surface of the Earth in 2017 or 2018.
According to The Guardian, China’s space agency has notified the UN that it expects Tiangong-1 to crash between October 2017 and April 2018.
However, there is no word on where it would come down. Chinese officials said that it was difficult to predict as to where it would come crashing.