Image Credit: CMSE (China’s 8-ton Tiangong-1 space lab)

Launched in 2011, The Tiangong-1 Space Lab is now drifting in orbit out of control. China has no plans to boost it to a higher orbit to keep it from eventually crashing into Earth’s atmosphere and resulting re-entry.

Most space science experts say the vehicle will “mostly” burn up as it enters the atmosphere. Still, there is a possibility that some of the debris might make it back down to the surface. The Space Lab also contains highly toxic materials onboard.

The current projected re-entry time is end of March or early April, in the zone depicted below.



Image Credit: ESA

Southern Oregon sits on the extreme north edge of the predicted re-entry path. Because the vehicle is now uncontrolled and drifting, it is difficult to predict a precise location (or time) where it will enter the atmosphere.

Experts have said you are much more likely to be struck by lightning than to be hit by a piece of space debris. Depending on the time of entry it might be possible for people in the “zone” to see it. Also note the vast expanse of ocean in the possible entry zone.

Article by Klamath Alerts