|The Burning Mass|
Whatever goes up, must come down. At least that is what it law of gravity states, and is what recently happened to a Chinese satellite, the Tiangong 1 recently. The satellite has fallen back to the earth.
Chinese space authorities say Tiangong 1, the country's defunct and reportedly out-of-control space station, recently re-entered the Earth's atmosphere , mostly burning up over the central South Pacific.
The good thing is that the tumbling spacecraft posed only a slight risk to people and property on the ground, since most of the 8.5-ton vehicle was expected to burn up on re-entry. Based on its size, only about 10 percent of the spacecraft will likely survive being burned up on re-entry, mainly its heavier components such as its engines. The chances of anyone person on Earth being hit by debris is considered less than one in a trillion.
Based on Tiangong 1's orbit, it will come to Earth somewhere between latitudes of 43 degrees north and 43 degrees south, or roughly somewhere over most of the United States, China, Africa, southern Europe, Australia and South America. Out of range are Russia, Canada and northern Europe.
What does all these mean, remember that article we wrote about satellites and their junk? Well this means that as man gets more and more advanced, the risk of collisions and space accidents increases, and if nothing is being done, it might only just get worse. Falling satellites might just be a tiny aspect of the problem.
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