When Chinese space agency launched its space lab Tiangong-1 in 2011, little did they expect it to come ‘crashing’ back to Earth five years later. The Asian country’s first space station that was hailed as a potent political symbol of China’s growing power, is expected to crash land some time during 2017.
Fuelling speculation that Chinese space authorities have lost control over the 8.5-tonne module, the Guardian reported that the ‘Heavenly Palace’ lab will have most of its parts burning up during falling next year. Normally, these kind of spacecrafts are made to return to Earth over an ocean, in order to burn up in a controlled and safe manner, however, if China really has lost control of Tiangong-1, it means no one knows where it’s going to land up.
Last week, officials said at a satellite launch centre in the Gobi Desert that the unmanned module had now “comprehensively fulfilled its historical mission” and was set to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere at some point in the second half of 2017.