Chi­nese space sta­tion crashes back

CNSA's first or­bital out­post had been out of con­trol since 2016

Sky at Night Magazine - - BULLETIN -

Af­ter re-en­ter­ing the at­mos­phere at 00:15 UT, the Tian­gong-1 space sta­tion crashed into the south­ern Pa­cific Ocean on 2 April.

The Chi­nese Na­tional Space Ad­min­is­tra­tion (CNSA) lost con­trol of the space­craft af­ter an un­spec­i­fied fault de­vel­oped in 2016 and it be­gan to lose alti­tude. Though the en­try was un­con­trolled, mean­ing that Tian­gong-1, which was the size of a small bus, could have crashed down in a populated area, there was lit­tle risk to life as the sta­tion mostly burned up in the at­mos­phere.

Tian­gong-1 (mean­ing Heav­enly Place-1) was China’s first step to­wards cre­at­ing a per­ma­nent hu­man base in space but it was only ever in­tended to be tem­po­rary. A sec­ond test sta­tion, Tian­gong-2, was launched on 15 Septem­ber 2016 and a per­ma­nent base is ex­pected some time in the next few years.

The Tian­gong-1 space sta­tion mostly broke up on re-en­try then what lit­tle was left crashed into the Pa­cific

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