Credit: The Aerospace Corporation/CORDS

China’s Tiangong-1 space lab is headed for an uncontrolled and destructive nose-dive into Earth’s atmosphere. Latest reentry forecast provided by ESA’s Space Debris Office, in Darmstadt, Germany, updated March 27, 2018:

The current estimated reentry window runs from the morning of March 31 to the early morning of April 2 (in UTC time), with ESA’s office noting this is highly variable.

Heavenly Palace – 1

Launched atop a CZ-2F booster from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on September 29, 2011, the 8.5 ton Tiangong-1 – meaning “Heavenly Palace 1″ – served as China’s first space station and was used as a target vehicle for three rendezvous and docking missions between November 2011 and June 2013.

For several years, Tiangong-1 underwent switches in its flying mode, orbit maintenance maneuvers, and other activities.

According to the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSE) the space lab in left-alone mode was outfitted with payloads such as Earth observation instrumentation and space environment detectors.

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Tiangong-1 churned out “hyperspectral” imaging products, collecting information from across the electromagnetic spectrum.
Credit: Technology and Engineering Center for Space Utilization

China’s Doomed Space Station Did Some Science Work, Too


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