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Chinese space station may fall back to Earth next weekend

Local News
Planet Earth from outerspace-159532.jpg63743685

The Chinese space station that is being pulled back into Earth’s atmosphere could come crashing down around April 1, officials estimate.

Researchers from the Aerospace Corporation and the European Space Agency (ESA) say the space station, Tiangong-1, could re-enter the atmosphere sometime in the next two weeks.

The ESA is projecting a window from re-entry between March 30 and April 3. Aerospace estimates the station will fall around April 3, give or take three days.

While most of the nine-ton station will burn up in the atmosphere, Aerospace says there is a chance that some debris will make it through re-entry and hit the ground.

Experts predicts the station could be pulled in anywhere between 43ºN and 43ºS — which would leave the City of Rochester on the outer edge of the zone.

The 43rd parallel cuts through areas south of Rochester including Victor, Mendon, and LeRoy. According to an Aerospace map, the Rochester area is within the “higher probability” landing zone (yellow lines on map to the right).

Again, it’s important to remember the entire space station may well burn up in the atmosphere. And, even if portions survive the intense heat, experts say debris would most likely land in the ocean.

Aerospace officials write, “The probability that a specific person (i.e., you) will be struck by Tiangong-1 debris is about one million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot. In the history of spaceflight, no known person has ever been harmed by reentering space debris.

However, at this point, officials are unable to guess exactly when and where the debris could come down.

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