China's Tiangong-1 space station crashes into Pacific
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
On Sunday, the Pacific Ocean at 8:15 a.m. (0015 UTC).confirmed the space laboratory fell out of orbit, with much of the 10.4-meter structure burning up in Earth's atmosphere before the remainder crashed into the
"Through monitoring and analysis byand related agencies," reads a statement from the China Manned Space Engineering Office, "Tiangong-1 re-entered the atmosphere at about 8.15am, 2 April, Beijing time (0115 GMT). The re-entry falling area is located in the central region of the south Pacific." The and partners from eight other countries confirmed the crash.
Tiangong 1, which means "Heavenly Palace 1," was China's first space station. It was launched in 2011 as a stepping stone toward the development of a permanent space station but itself had an expected life of about two years. Authorities recalled the last astronauts in 2013 but continued to use the space station for other purposes until losing navigational control in 2016. Late last year, the Chinese informed the United Nations that they expected the space station would crash sometime in March 2018. astrophysicist Brad Tucker described the station as "tumbling and spinning" for a long time before today's re-entry, which rendered its movements less predictable. The European Space Agency nonetheless described the chance of a person being struck by a piece of Tiangong-1 as extremely less likely than being struck by lightning.
According to U.S. astronaut Leroy Chiao, the original plan had been for China to bring the space station down in a controlled fashion as the Russians did with the Australia. No one was harmed, but the agency was issued a .space station in 2001. In 1979, the U.S. space station had an uncontrolled re-entry that scattered small pieces of debris across western
Several memorials to the space station appeared in China's media. Public comments on theranged from critical ("Re-entry? Everyone knows it's a crash") to poignant ("Goodbye Tiangong-1. You are our hero") and other tributes. One Chinese newspaper, the Global Times criticized the portrayal of Tiangong-1's end in Western media: "It's normal for spacecraft to re-enter the atmosphere, yet Tiangong-1 received so much attention partly because some western countries are trying to hype and sling mud at China's fast-growing aerospace industry."
According to reports, the second Chinese space station, International Space Station as of 2024., remains in orbit. China plans to launch a permanent space station by 2022, whereas the United States is currently debating a plan to withdraw support for the
- Lily Kuo. "Tiangong-1 crash: Chinese space station comes down in Pacific Ocean" — , April 2, 2018
- Sol Han, Serenitie Wang, and Katie Hunt. "China's Tiangong-1 space lab plummets to Earth, breaks up over Pacific" — , April 2, 2018