Falling Chinese space station poses no risk: UAE Space Agency

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The Italian space agency says there's a slim chance that China's Tiangong-1 space station will hit Italy when it falls out of the sky sometime in the next week.

China's out-of-control space station, Tiangong-1, is getting very close to its expected date of re-entry. In its lifetime it was involved in six rendezvous and docking missions with manned Shenzhou spacecraft, and made "significant contributions to the development of China's manned space mission" space authorities said.

But there are concerns the bus-sized spacecraft is out of control.

Trackers have been following the space station's descent over the course of a number of weeks, gathering radar images and coming up with estimates for when it'll come down.

The China Manned Space programme, which put Tiangong-1 into orbit in September 2011, has been mostly mum on the fate of China's first space station, created to test technologies related to docking in orbit.

Aerospace Corporation, a federally funded United States space-research organization, features a re-entry dashboardon its site, which presents a map of the lab's current position and orbit and predicted time to re-entry.

At the moment, the Tiangong-1 orbits over Italy roughly every 90 minutes, three to four times a day at an altitude between 220 and 220km above Earth.

Based on Tiangong-1's orbital details, that will happen somewhere between 43 degrees north latitude and 43 degrees south - a huge swath of the globe that stretches from the South Dakota-Nebraska border all the way down to Tasmania, space.com wrote.

"The only known case of space debris striking a person is Ms Lottie Williams of Tulsa, Oklahoma who was struck by a small piece of space debris in 1996 but was not harmed in any significant way".

Here's everything you need to know about Tiangong-1 and its impending fall.

"It's more likely than not that this thing will re-enter over an unpopulated area and it may be that no one ever sees it", said Andrew Abraham, a senior member of the technical staff at the Aerospace Corporation, according to NBC News.

In the past, there have been several crash landings of space stations, including NASA's 77-tonne Skylab in 1979 and the Soviet Union's 20-tonne Salyut 7 space station in 1991, but there haven't been any casualties.

The Tiangong-1 is expected to crash into Earth's atmosphere around April 1.

For over a year, scientists have been trying to figure out when Chinese space lab Tiangong-1 is going to plummet back to its home planet. Reports indicated it will most likely burn up in the atmosphere, as a result of atmospheric friction, before reaching Earth's surface, the agency noted.

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