Published: Friday 30 March, 2018

China’s Bus-Sized Satellite Tiangong-1 to Crash to Earth on Easter Sunday

It will be a fiery Easter Sunday this year as Chinese satellite Tiangong-1 crashes to Earth. But where will the satellite/space station crash? When is the exact time? The exact time and place of the satellite crash is still unknown, according to experts, because the school bus-sized Tiangong-1 is tumbling as it falls back to Earth.

China satellite space station crash

The exact time and place of the Tiangong-1 space station crash is still unknown. (Mail Online image/Leo Delauncey)

Because it is tumbling rather just falling, this will affect its direction and speed. As of now, according to Space.com, estimates for the crash of the satellite/space station is sometime between March 31 and April 1, Easter Sunday.

The latest estimates of the crash comes from Aerospace Corp., with an error of 16 hours either way. The European Space Agency also supports that re-entry estimate. 

As of now, the predicted area for the satellite crash is vast – somewhere between the latitudes of 42.7 degrees north and 42.7 degrees south, according to Space.com. But as the re-entry nears, experts can narrow it down and provide a more accurate crash site.

It will be a fiery re-entry for Tiangong-1. Experts say the satellite will burst into fragments when it enters the Earth’s atmosphere and people will see a fireballs streaking across the sky.

But Chinese space engineers allayed fears of people being hit by the fiery debris. In a statement issued through the Xinhua News Agency, China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) said the public should not fear being hit by debris from Tiangong-1.

“There is no need for people to worry about its re-entry into the atmosphere. It won’t crash to the Earth fiercely, as in sci-fi movie scenarios, but will look more like a shower of meteors,” the statement said.

Tiangong-1` was launched by China in September 2011 but it stopped communicating with mission control in March 2016. Since then, the satellite / space station has been hurtling aimlessly in space leading CMSEO to declare it a space junk.