You're not to worry about the Chinese space station falling from the sky

Next with Kyle Clark. 9/21/2016

Here's an odd warning.

Keep an eye on the sky between mid-to-late 2017. That's because China's space station is expected to crash somewhere on earth in that time period.

It's called Tiangong-1, and it's an eight-ton space lab that was used between 2011 and 2013.

Now in 2016, the engines don't work, and the lab is "in retirement." The space station is expected to re-enter earth on its own.

Don't worry, though. Most of it should burn up on its way down.

We spoke with an astronomer who says there's really only a one in 1,000 chance that parts of it will hit a populated area.

"The phrase 'out of control' has been used, which is sort of technically true, but it gives a scariness to it that isn't really deserved," Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said. "It's not something where you'll go, 'Oh, evacuate the city. There's gong to be widespread destruction."

There is a chance that debris could fall into a populated area. 

The lab is currently in orbit between 43 degrees north and south. We checked, and Denver is actually in that area of orbit.

But astronomers think it's most likely going to land in the ocean or some uninhibited area.

 

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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