Tiangong-1 Crash Lands in the Pacific Ocean

Tiangong-1 Space Station Reentry Is Now An April Fools' Joke

However, the ESA had predicted that Tiangong-1 would probably break up over water. The Chinese lost control of the spacecraft a couple of years ago and thus could not guide it to the middle of an ocean.

The spacecraft - about the size of a city bus - nearly entirely burned up on its entrance to the Earth's atmosphere, breaking into small pieces as it fell over the South Pacific Ocean, NPR reports.

The Tiangong-1, or "Heavenly Palace", is China's first prototype space station.

"It did exactly what it was expected to do; the predictions, at least the past 24 hours' ones, were spot on; and as expected it fell somewhere empty and did no damage", said Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The space station first launched in 2011, but ended its active life as an experimental space station after the second of two crews left it in 2013. Tiangong 1, about the size of a school bus, re-entered the Earth's atmosphere 15 minutes ahead of what was projected and over the Pacific more than 200 miles west of Chile. At that point, it had spent 1,630 days in operational orbit - about 2.5 years longer than the two years initially planned for its mission.

According to Chinese media source Global Times, "Tiangong-1 received so much attention, partly because some Western countries are trying to hype and sling mud at China's fast-growing aerospace industry".

The Tianong-1 Space Station made its entry and burned over the Pacific Ocean.

With the odds of any one person being struck by space debris at 70 million-to-one, the chances that it would actually hurt a human were pretty remote.

Most space debris burns up in the atmosphere, which is fortunate for us, as there's so much debris there.

The 8.5-tonne Tiangong-1, with a length of 10.4 metres and maximum diametre of 3.35 metres, providing a room of 15 cubic meters for three astronauts to live and work, was launched by the Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China on September 29, 2011.

As it tumbles through space, the 34-foot-long craft will appear to flicker with different levels of brightness.

At approximately 08:15 the unit entered the atmosphere to the earth's surface has reached only a small part of the structure, the station is nearly all burned in the air. It started orbiting Earth in September 2011 and Chinese astronauts first docked and boarded the station in June 2012. Reports to the contrary, it said Monday, were because "foreign media envy China's space programme".

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