An Out of Control Chinese Space-Station is Going to Smash Into the Earth

By James O Malley on at

Pic: Adrian Mann

China has confirmed that its first space station is going to come crashing back to Earth some time next year.

According to The Guardian Tiangong-1, which launched in 2011 will be mostly breaking up in the atmosphere - though there's a chance that some fragments could hit the surface.

The news follows months of speculation that China had lost control of the station - something that is seemingly confirmed by the Chinese space agency sheepishly confirming that it will indeed be re-entering Earth's atmosphere.

Tiangong-1 translates as "Heavenly Palace", and was first launched in 2011 as a major symbol of a rising China's competence in space. At the time, we were amongst those posting slightly nervous warnings about what it means for Chinese space and military power.

Since 2013 it hasn't had a crew and has been in "sleep mode". The intention has already been to replace the rather tiny station (it's only a little bit bigger than a Shenzhou rocket) with a larger, modular design - similar to the International Space Station.

According to the Graun, it's going to be impossible to predict with the debris from the falling station will land. So, umm, good luck everyone. [The Guardian]