Back in June 2016, China revealed that it had lost control of Tiangong-1, and would be unable to perform a controlled re-entry. And now scientists have revealed that the “out-of-control” space station may crash on earth is just a few weeks now. The space station has been falling in Earth’s direction for months now.
A team from the European Space Agency (ESA) has narrowed the window for its impact but is still unable to figure where the 19,000-pound projectile will land.
After the Chinese government reported losing control over Tiangong-1 two years ago, it announced that the station would crash back to Earth in late 2017. That prediction was later revised to March 2018. And now, ESA has released a new window for Tiangong-1’s eventual crash landing, which they believe could be between March 29 and April 9.
— Kartwheel (@kwcdigital) March 6, 2018
However, ESA acknowledges they won’t be able to pin down an exact date because of the space lab’s out-of-control route. “At no time will a precise time/location prediction from ESA be possible,” the ESA wrote on their blog.
Like ESA mentions, it is not possible to narrow down the crash zone, however, they agency does predicted it to be between the 43° North and 43° South latitudes. That massive section of the planet includes parts of every inhabited continent on Earth.
“Even a couple of days before it re-enters we probably won’t know better than six or seven hours, plus or minus, when it’s going to come down,” Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell told The Guardian.
Now, despite the fact that the location and the exact time of the space station’s crash on Earth is unknown, the odds of Tiangong-1 hitting you or your home is extremely slim.