Parts of the wrecked space laboratory “Tiangong 1,” over which China lost control in 2016, are likely to collide with planet Earth, space experts said on Tuesday.
It emerged in August 2016 that China could no longer steer the 8.5-ton vessel and that after six years in space and numerous experiments it would crash down to Earth uncontrolled.
According to Chinese space authorities, the laboratory is circling the planet in an orbit that is constantly decreasing in size.
It will apparently begin its uncontrolled descent in April 2018 at the latest, although Australian space analyst, Morris Jones, says “such calculations are not the exact science.
“Most of the Tiangong will burn up in the atmosphere, but some large parts, such as fuel tanks, can reach the surface of the earth.
“There will be a large fireball in the sky, some observers on the ground can possibly see it.”
However, Jones did not say if there were grounds for major concern.
“The risk to human life is fairly small, but it is not zero. Property is more likely to be damaged but this is still a low probability event.
A report says it certainly is not the first time that space junk was set to collide with Earth.
In 1991, the largest ever fragment of a space vessel, from the Soviet Union’s “Salyut 7,” fell on Argentina, no one was injured.
U.S. space expert Leonard Davis told DPA that should “Tiangong 1” cause damage to life or property, China will be held accountable.
SOURCE: Agencies news