Tiangong-1, the falling Chinese space station, will crash back to Earth on Easter Sunday. Here's where the debris is predicted to land and what you should do if you see some of the space station's pieces.
The world is watching the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 as it continues to fall to Earth, and we now have a more specific estimate on when and where it will crash.
At the start of the year, the date and location for the reentry of Tiangong-1 into Earth were still mostly unknown. We now have more information on these details, which should give people living in potentially affected areas time to prepare in case they see debris from Tiangong-1.
When And Where Will The Chinese Space Station Crash?
According to experts, Tiangong-1 may crash to Earth on early Easter Sunday. The estimated time is 10 am EDT on April 1, according to Aerospace Corp., which is one of the organizations that are tracking the fall of the Chinese space station.
The location where the debris from the Tiangong-1 may land, however, is more difficult to predict. This is because the space station is tumbling as it falls, making it hard to predict how the Earth's atmosphere will affect its path.
However, Aerospace Corp. predicts that the 8.5-ton space station may land along a strip within the United States that stretches from northern California to Pennsylvania. This area includes the lower peninsula of Michigan, pushing Gov. Rick Snyder to activate the state's Emergency Operations Center to monitor the fall of Tiangong-1.
What To Do When You See Chinese Space Station Debris
One of the major concerns about the uncontrolled descent of Tiangong-1 is that the Chinese space station would crash into populated areas. Experts, however, claim that the chances of actually being hit with space debris are very, very slim. According to Aerospace Corp., people have 1 million times better odds of winning the Powerball jackpot than Tiangong-1 debris striking a person.
Nevertheless, should you come across what you suspect is debris from the Chinese space station, stay at least 150 feet away from it. The debris may contain hydrazine, which is highly toxic and corrosive, so you should instead call 911 and report the incident.
The Legacy Of Tiangong-1
Tiangong-1 achieved many impressive accomplishments in its time in space, including providing data during global disasters and helping China with its plans of launching a bigger space station. It completed 1,630 days of service before it lost contact with the China Manned Space Engineering Office, when it was only supposed to last two years.
People should also remember these things about Tiangong-1, not just as the Chinese space station that came crashing back to Earth.