Heads Up: China's Tiangong-1 Space Station Is Crashing to Earth

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According to Aerospace Corporation, a non-profit research and development organisation in California, the 19,000lb (8,500kg) space station is expected to collide with the earth's atmosphere in the first week of April, give or take a week. Tiangong-1 is due to reenter some time between March 29 and April 9, ESA reports.

Four years later, scientists in Beijing revealed they would not be able to perform a re-entry after losing control of the space station.

A somewhat alarming warning from Aerospace Corporation's Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies (CORDS) states: "Potentially, there may be a highly toxic and corrosive substance called hydrazine on board the spacecraft that could survive reentry".

According to the report, Tiangong-1 is expected to re-enter the Earth somewhere between 43-degrees north and 43-degrees south latitudes.

The exact position of where it will re-enter is not figured but the chances indicate slightly higher in northern China, the Middle East, central Italy, northern Spain.

However, Aerospace insisted the chance of debris hitting anyone living in these nations was tiny. And in terms of the lottery, the odds of winning the US Powerball are already a hundred times lower than winning the UK National Lottery (1 in 14 million).

Lottie Williams from Tulsa, Oklahoma, has the dubious honor of being the only known person ever hit by a piece of space junk.

Thousands left without water after pipes burst
Tina Callaghan, who is disabled, had also come to collect bottled water and said: "You can't go to the toilet, you can't make tea".

But it's also important to keep an eye out for the massive Tiangong-1, as Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist from Harvard University, told the Guardian that "Tiangong-1 is big and dense so we need to keep an eye on it". Tiangong-1's reentry would've been controlled by firing its engines to slow it down enough so that it would fall toward Earth.

The science of where the station will hit is notoriously inexact because small changes in "space weather" - the effect on the Earth's atmosphere of flares of electromagnetic radiation and charged particles travelling as solar wind - can shift its trajectory drastically.

"It's a Chinese satellite so we don't totally know what's going on, but as far as we can tell, 2015 was the last time the Chinese government ever sent a control to it", says Bothwell. Any surviving pieces would have fallen into the ocean.

The Tiangong-1 or Heavenly Palace lab was launched in 2011 and described as a "potent political symbol" of China - part of a scientific push to become a space superpower.

Used for both manned and unmanned missions, it was visited by China's first female astronaut Liu Yang in 2012.

Salyut 7 and the 20-tonne spacecraft broke up over Argentina, scattering debris over the town of Capitan Bermudez. In 1979, NASA's uncontrolled 77-tonnes Skylab crashed the earth and some large pieces of its debris landed outside Perth in Western Australia.