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Wed, Mar 14, 2018

Lower Michigan May Be In Path Of Reentering Chinese Space Station

Spacecraft Expected To Enter Earth's Atmosphere In Early April

When the abandoned Chinese Tiangong-1 space station makes an uncontrolled reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, there is a chance it will impact the planet in lower Michigan, according to researchers.

The U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail reports that, according to the Aerospace Corporation research organization, parts of southern lower Michigan have a high probability of being hit by falling debris. Up to 40 percent of the space station may survive reentry, and it is carrying substances that are reported to be "highly toxic", according to the report.

Other northern U.S. states are also at risk from the debris, as are portions of northern China, central Italy, northern Spain, the Middle East, New Zealand, Tasmania and southern Africa.

ESA's Space Debris Office in Darmstadt, Germany predicts that the Tiangong-1 space station will reenter the atmosphere sometime between March 24 and April 19.

Because of the uncontrolled nature of the reentry, it is impossible to predict with any accuracy where it will fall until much closer to the actual reentry date and time. Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist from Harvard University said that it it will be much clearer during the final week before the event. "Remember that a 1 hour error in our guessed reentry time corresponds to an 27,000 km (17,000 mile) error in the reentry position," McDowell explained in one tweet.

(Image captured from Chinese State Television of the Tiangong-1 space station being assembled)

FMI: Original report

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