Bejing: China’S defunct Tiangong-1 space station has finally crashed after re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, as stargazers tried to get a glimpse of it.
China’s defunct Tiangong-1 space lab re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere breaking apart above the South Pacific on Monday at 00:16 GMT. The spacecraft burnt up above the ocean’s central region at 8:15 am local time (0015 UTC), China’s Manned Space Engineering Office said.
Earlier, it was said that the craft was expected to reach Earth’s atmosphere southwest of British South Atlantic island of Ascension. Later, it revised its estimate to off the coast of Brazil.
China’s Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) has confirmed the space station has re-entered atmosphere and mostly burned up. It has landed in the South Pacific after it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere at 10.16am AEST.
Only about 10 per cent of the bus-sized, 8.5-tonne spacecraft will likely survive being burned up on re-entry, mainly its heavier components such as its engines.
The US Strategic Command’s Joint Force Space Component Command (JFSCC) issued a statement saying that its re-entry was confirmed theough coordination with counterparts in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and the UK. The station has landed north-west of Tahiti.
Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics stated: “North-west of Tahiti – it managed to miss the ‘spacecraft graveyard’ which is further south!”
NW of Tahiti – it managed to miss the 'spacecraft graveyard' which is further south! pic.twitter.com/Sj4e42O7Dc
— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) April 2, 2018
The Chinese space office had said shortly before that it was expected to re-enter off the Brazilian coast in the South Atlantic near the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. US specialists at the Joint Force Space Component Command said they had used orbit analysis technology to confirm Tiangong-1’s re-entry.