China's space station Tiangong-1 uncontrolled return

Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : China's space station Tiangong-1 uncontrolled return
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Message 1802212 - Posted: 12 Jul 2016, 13:17:48 UTC

China space station Tiangong-1 could secretly be hurtling towards Earth, astronomers say
China’s first space station might be in freefall in space and on its way to crashing back down to Earth.

The Tiangong-1 satellite was launched in 2011, and should have come back down to Earth in the ocean in a controlled crash. But watchers have said that it now appears to have gone into freewill, with China losing control of it, and so it could crash down onto the Earth any time.
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Message 1802596 - Posted: 14 Jul 2016, 21:36:10 UTC - in response to Message 1802212.  

Oh my...

:(

That's an interesting can of worms isn't it? Thanks WK :)

oh...and did we say we like humans too? Well we do :)
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Message 1802611 - Posted: 14 Jul 2016, 23:58:07 UTC - in response to Message 1802596.  

Believe to or not, the Earth is sparsely populated. The chances of it hitting any one is very small.
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Message 1802645 - Posted: 15 Jul 2016, 4:16:14 UTC

Yeah, 70% water and we only live on about 10% of the land.
Bob DeWoody

My motto: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow as it may not be required. This no longer applies in light of current events.
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Message 1802976 - Posted: 16 Jul 2016, 16:41:33 UTC
Last modified: 16 Jul 2016, 16:43:06 UTC

I remember when SpaceLab was falling back in the 70's. We(us kids) thought a piece might land in the playground! ;~)

Edit: It was Skylab.
The mind is a weird and mysterious place
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Message 1803353 - Posted: 18 Jul 2016, 21:22:26 UTC
Last modified: 18 Jul 2016, 21:48:45 UTC

Edit: new information

Article is very vague about what they mean by lost control and freefall.

Freefall makes it sound like it's in a suborbital trajectory, which probably would've crashed it by the time they finished writing the article.

If it's in a rapidly decaying orbit then it might take longer, but they didn't give any information about that. The satellite tracker that Space.com links to shows the station to be in the right altitude, between 360-380km. A bad altitude for rapid decay I believe is upper 100's km.

This The Independent article seems to be click-bait by picking and choosing what to extract from a Space.com article from June 2016 that it's sourcing. The Space.com article says this claim is from a random hobbyist. The Space.com article then cites other people who say there's nothing unusual about the orbit.

This station's mission ended a few years ago and is supposedly on standby. It's should have a controlled reentry, but it hasn't been done yet. The Chinese announced that they lost communication with it on March 2016. Maybe they actually lost control earlier and only admitted it now, and maybe that's why it's been on "standby" for so long.

That Space.com article says, without routine boosting, it will probably be the end of 2017 when the station will reenter the atmosphere, uncontrolled.
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Message 1803396 - Posted: 19 Jul 2016, 2:21:05 UTC - in response to Message 1803353.  

The amateur astronomer might be right, but the information within the same Space.com article makes me doubt that an extraordinary problem is happening.
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Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : China's space station Tiangong-1 uncontrolled return


 
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