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Mark your calendars, a Chinese space station is expected to plunge to earth

Researchers say it's unlikely the station survives re-entry into atmosphere

(WBRE/NBC)-- What comes up, must come down.

A Chinese space station is expected to plunge to Earth in about a week.

Experts say it's highly unlikely that large pieces of schoolbus-sized Tiangong-1 will survive re-entry through the atmosphere.

The station will likely fall from orbit sometimes between March 29th and April 4th according to Andrew Abraham who is a senior member of technical staff at the Aerospace Corporation. He has been tracking the 18,000-pound space station since 2016. 

“We won’t have a firm idea of precisely when — or any clue of where — until several hours prior to reentry,” he said. “There’s still a fair amount of uncertainty.”

Although there are several major cities within the possible landing zone, including Los Angeles and Houston, debris from the station is likely to plunge in the ocean or on unpopulated land.

“It’s more likely than not that this thing will reenter over an unpopulated area and it may be that no on ever sees it,” Abraham said.

 


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