Launched back in 2011, the Chinese satellite Tiangong-1, which was orbiting Earth has lost its track and become out of control, might fall on Earth soon. The Chinese Space Agency has reported that the space station is expected to crash-land on the Earth surface this year or early 2018.
The Guardian reported that the Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell said that the Tiangong-1 is decaying quickly and one can “expect it will come down a few months from now – late 2017 or early 2018”, he said.
However, what’s surprising is that China also doesn’t know where the collision will occur as scientists have lost the track of space lab module.
Tiangong-1 was not a very big module and most of the debris will get burnt due to frictional force of atmosphere and chances are there that entire space lab module gets burnt in the air itself. Even if it manages to crash into Earth, it will shrink into a very small size but it will be moving at a speed greater than of a bullet which can be catastrophic.
‘Based on our calculation and analysis, most parts of the space lab will burn up during falling, said Wu Ping, deputy director of the manned space engineering office, reports Xinhua.
The unmanned part of space lab weighed over 8 tons. The space lab module has performed several key operations including a series of docking of exercises back in 2012. China wants to make its own version of International space station and Tiangong-1 (meaning Heavenly Palace) was the first brick.
China recently launched the Tiangong-2 space lab module. The module was aimed at testing life support systems and refueling technology for its 60-ton modular space station.
Tiangong-2 is placed in an orbit of 393 kilometers above the Earth and it will help in studying fundamental physics, biology, fluid mechanics in microgravity, space science and will monitor Earth from space. In addition, it has the capability to measure the topography of the oceans with very high precision which will enable scientists to study Earth’s gravity field.
The loss of Tiangong-1 came as a shock for Chinese space agency as their mission for modular space lab of the class of International
International Space Station will retire in 2024 and Chinese space station is a promising alternative. Other space agencies are looking forward to collaborating with China as Chinese station can become the international base for astronauts in coming years.
We have been able to form an impression of the cosmos around us through the ingenious work in space exploration. Not only have we managed to send spacecraft into the void for finding new planets and celestial bodies but also improvised continuously on the technology used for space exploration.
The primary objective of space missions is achieved through imaging which is ensured through the integration of competent and avant-garde imaging equipment such as sensors, cameras, and imagers. These tools help in capturing the images of unexplored entities in the space alongside assisting in the supervision of activities related to spacecraft and space station such as Ducking. And to carry out such activities and missions with more accuracy, Chinese Space Lab has launched the new and revolutionary Micro-satellite.
China’s tentative space lab Tiangong-2, which is tracking the Earth with two involved astronauts, on Sunday, launched a microsatellite weighing 47kg. This microsatellite is intended to lead proficient orbit control, handle the space tasks autonomously and transmit information at high speeds, with more grounded abilities contrasted and the going with a satellite of the Shenzhou-7 shuttle.
Alongside an infra-red sensor, the satellite is also capable of generating enough power through three solar panels that are embodied in the spacecraft. With these three solar panels, it can adjust its course to click pictures of the lab and probe automatically. Banxing-1, which is the forerunner spacecraft of Banxing-1, finished the same mission for Shenzhou VII in the year 2008 and the new satellite is designed with more intensity, more power. The spacecraft is smaller than its preceding models and has a superior aptitude, said state-run China Daily.
Tiangong-2, placed in an orbit of 393 kilometers above the Earth and it will help in studying fundamental physics, biology, fluid mechanics in microgravity, space science and will monitor Earth from space. In addition, it has the capability to measure the topography of the oceans with very high precision which will enable scientists to study Earth’s gravity field.
Tiangong-2 has another payload named POLAR which is gamma-ray detector. It was developed by the collaboration of three countries — China, Switzerland, and Poland. POLAR will study Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs), the most energetic event in the universe. According to reports, POLAR will work for two years and will observe a total of 20 GRBs.