China space station to re-enter atmosphere over South Atlantic

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Beijing | April 2, 2018 6:02 AM

China's Tiangong-1 space station is forecast to re-enter the earth's atmosphere over a remote part of the South Atlantic on Monday.

china, china space station, south atlanticChina had said its re-entry would occur in late 2017 but that process was delayed, leading some experts to suggest the space laboratory is out of control. (Reuters)

China’s Tiangong-1 space station is forecast to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere over a remote part of the South Atlantic between 8:11 a.m. and 9:33 a.m. (0011-0133 GMT) on Monday, the country’s space authority said.

The craft is expected to re-enter in an area around 19.4 degrees west, 10.2 degrees south, the authority said on its website, giving it a position southwest of the tiny British South Atlantic island of Ascension.

Beijing said on Friday it was unlikely any large pieces would reach the ground.

The 10.4-metre-long (34.1-foot) Tiangong-1, or “Heavenly Palace 1”, was launched in 2011 to carry out docking and orbit experiments as part of China’s ambitious space programme, which aims to place a permanent station in orbit by 2023.
It was originally planned to be decommissioned in 2013 but its mission was repeatedly extended.

China had said its re-entry would occur in late 2017 but that process was delayed, leading some experts to suggest the space laboratory is out of control.

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