Tiangong-1 crash: MI put on alert ahead of April 1 crash

Tiangong-1 crash: MI put on alert ahead of April 1 crash

Tiangong-1 crash: MI put on alert ahead of April 1 crash

First, know this: You're probably anxious about nothing.

The 8.5-ton and 10m Tiangong-1 space laboratory, which means "Heavenly Palace", was launched on September 30, 2011.

The European Space Agency said in a statement that it won't predict a precise time or place for the station's fall, either.

Speed and friction caused space material to burn up on re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, he said. While Michigan is not the only potential crash site, the satellite could land anywhere from Australia to the United States - between 43-degrees north and 43-degrees south latitudes.

As of Thursday, the space lab is orbiting the Earth at a height of 196.4 kilometers (122 miles).

According to European space agency's forewarning, the space station will hit earth any time between Saturday morning and Sunday evening.

The Aerospace Corporation
Tiangong-1 is roughly the size of a school bus The Aerospace Corporation

According to the Aerospace Corporation, the odds of Tiangong-1's wreckage hitting anyone in particular are pretty low. China has launched its second space station in a sign of the growing sophistication of its military-backed program that intends to send a mission to Mars in the coming years.

While the reentry is likely to create a memorable light show for any astronomers lucky enough to spot it, it is now challenging to predict when exactly the space station will fall.

AeroSpace anticipates the space station will reenter Earth's atmosphere at 2 p.m. UTC on Sunday, or 9 a.m. locally, give or take 16 hours.

The Tiangong-1 space craft is expected to tear across the sky - similar to that of a meteor shower - once it plummets into the Earth's atmosphere somewhere between today and Easter Monday.

South Korea is scheduled to issue a warning over the reentry of China's space station, as the debris could possibly hit South Korea, although the possibility is very slim, Seoul's ICT ministry said Friday.

"Given Tiangong-1 has a larger mass and is more robust, as it is pressurised, than many other space objects that return uncontrolled to Earth from space, it is the subject of a number of radar tracking campaigns", explained Richard Crowther, the UK Space Agency's chief engineer. Its name means "heavenly palace" in Chinese, but the space station has more in common with Icarus than any castle in the clouds, and is set for a fiery demise. Its researchers have identified a band of "probable" re-entry points around the planet that include well-populated areas in California, Oregon, the Midwest, New York and New England.

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