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Space Station Archives

Since the end of the Apollo era, one of the main goals of NASA, Roscosmos and other space agencies has been the development of technologies that will enable a long term human presence canada goose jacket outlet in space. These technologies will also help when it comes time to mount renewed missions to the Moon, to Mars, and other locations in the Solar System. Over the past few decades, these efforts have yielded Mir and the International Space Station (ISS).


In the coming years, these efforts will also lead to the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway and commercial space stations like the Bigelow B330. canada goose outlet canada And if private aerospace companies like the Gateway Foundation get their way, we also have a spaceport in orbit around Earth. The company recently showing exactly what this rotating wheel space station will look like, and how companies like SpaceX could help build it.

China Tiangong 1 space station has been the focus of a lot of international attention lately. In 2016, after four and half years in orbit, this prototype space canada goose outlet store station officially ended its mission. By September of 2017, the Agency acknowledged that the station orbit canada goose uk black friday was decaying and that it would fall to Earth later in the year. Since then, estimates on when it will enter out atmosphere have been extended a few times.


According to satellite trackers, it was predicted that the station would fall to Earth in mid March. But ina recent statement (which is no joke) the Chinese National Space Agency (CNSA) has indicated that Tiangong 1 will fall to Earth around April 1st aka. April Fool Day. While the agency and others insists that it is very unlikely, there is a small chance that the re entry could lead to some debris falling to Earth.

For the sake of ensuring public safety, the European Space Agency (ESA) Space goose outlet canada Debris Office (SDO) canada goose outlet reviews has been providing regular updates on the station decay. According to the SDO, the reentry window is Canada Goose sale highly variable and spans from the morning of March 31st to the afternoon of April 1st (in UTC time). This works out to the evening of March 30th or March 31st for people living on the West Coast.


The possible re entry region of the Tiangong 1 space station, indicated in green. Credit: ESA/SDO

As the ESA stated on their rocket science blog:

will take place anywhere between 43N and 43S. Areas above or below canada goose outlet store uk these latitudes can be excluded. At no time will a precise time/location prediction from ESA be possible. This forecast was updated approximately weekly through to mid March, and is now being updated every 12 days. other words, if any debris does fall to the surface, it could happen anywhere from the Northern US, Southern Europe, Central Asia or China to the tip of Argentina/Chile, South Africa, or Australia. Basically, it could land just about anywhere on the planet. On the other hand, back in January, the US based Aerospace Corporation released a comprehensive analysis on Tiangong 1s orbital decay.

Their analysis included a map (shown below) which illustrated the zones of highest risk. Whereas the blue areas (that make up one third of the Earth’s surface) indicate zones of canada goose coats on sale zero canada goose black friday sale probability, the green area indicates a zone of lower canada goose outlet in usa probability. Their latest prediction is that the station will descend into our atmosphere on April 1st, at 04:35 UTC (March 30th 08:35 PST), with a margin of error of about 24 hours in other words, between March 30th to canada goose store April 2nd.

And they are canada goose outlet uk hardly alone when it comes to monitoring Tiangong 1 orbit and predicting its descent. The China Human Spaceflight Agency (CMSA) recently began providing daily updates on the orbital status of Tiangong 1. As they reported on March 28th: stayed at an average altitude of about 202.3 km. The estimated reentry window is between 31 March and 2 April, Beijing time. Based on their latest tracking data, they estimate that the station will enter our atmosphere no later than midnight on April 3rd.

Naturally, one cannot help but notice that these predictions vary and canada goose outlet are subject to a margin of error. In addition, trackers cannot say with https://www.amigosdecontreras.es any accuracy where debris if any will land on the planet. As Max Fagin an aerospace engineer and space camp alumni explained in a recent Youtube video (posted below), all of this arises from two factors: the station flight path and the Earth atmosphere.

Basically, the station is still moving at a velocity of 7.8 km/sec (4.8 mi/s) horizontally while it is descending by about 3 cm/sec. In addition, the Earth atmosphere shrinks and expands throughout the day in response to the Sun heating, which results in changes in air resistance. This makes the process of knowing where the station will make its descent difficult to predict, not to mention where debris could fall. within the Thermosphere it will begin falling much faster. At that point, it be much easier to determine where debris (if any) will fall. However, as the ESA, CNSA, and canada goose outlet nyc other trackers have emphasized repeatedly, the odds of any debris making it to the surface is highly unlikely.

If any debris does survive re entry, it is also statistically likely to fall into the ocean or in a remote area far away from any population centers. But in all likelihood, the station will break up completely in our atmosphere and produce a beautiful streaking effect across the sky. So if you checking the updates regularly and are in a part of the world where it can be seen, be sure to get outside and see it!

In September of 2011, China officially joined the Great Powers in Space club, thanks to the deployment of their Tiangong 1 space station. Since then, this prototype station has served as a crewed orbital laboratory and an experimental testbed for future space stations. In the coming years, China hopes to build on the lessons learned with Tiangong 1 to create a larger, modular station in 2023 (similar to the International Space Station).

Though the station mission was originally meant to end in 2013, the China National Space Agency extended its service to 2016. By September of 2017, the Agency acknowledged that they had lost control of the station and indicated that it would fall to Earth later in the year. According to the latest updates from satellite trackers, Tianglong 1 is likely to be reentering our atmosphere in March of 2018.

Given the fact that the station measures 10 by 3.35 meters (32.8 by 11 ft), weighs a canada goose outlet hefty 8,506 kg (18,753 lb) and was built from very durable construction materials, there are naturally concerns that some of it might survive reentry and reach the surface. But before anyone starts worrying about space debris falling on their heads, there are a few things that need to be addressed.

Images of the Tiangong 1 docking in Earth orbit in 2013. Credit: ESA

For starters, in the history of space flight, there has not been a single confirmed death caused by buy canada goose jacket cheap falling space debris. Tthanks to the development of modern tracking and early warning systems, we are also more prepared than at any time in our history for the threat of falling debris. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to be hit by falling airplane debris or eaten by a shark.

Second, the CNSA has emphasized that the reentry is very unlikely to pose a threat to commercial aviation or cause any impact damage on the surface. As official canada goose outlet Wu Ping the deputy director of the manned space engineering office indicated at a press conference back on September 14th, 2017: Canada Goose online on our calculation and analysis, most parts of the space lab will burn up during falling. canada goose factory outlet addition, The Aerospace Corporation, which is currently monitoring the reentry of Tiangong 1, recently released the results of their comprehensive analysis. Similar to what Wu stated, they indicated that most of the station will burn up on reentry, though they acknowledged that there is a chance that small bits of debris could survive and reach the surface. around the equator).

To illustrate the zones of highest risk, they produced a map (shown below) which indicates where the debris would be most likely to land. Whereas the blue areas (that make up one third of the Earth surface) indicate zones of zero probability, the green area indicates a zone of lower probability. In the history of spaceflight, no known person has ever been harmed by reentering space debris. Only one person has ever been recorded as being hit by a piece of space debris and, fortunately, she was not injured. but not least, the European Space Agency Inter Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) will be monitoring the reentry. In fact, the IADC which is made up of space debris and other experts from NASA, the ESA, JAXA, ISRO, KARI, Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration will be using this opportunity to conduct a test campaign.

During this campaign, participants will combine their predictions of the reentry time window, which are based on respective tracking datasets obtained from radar and other sources. Ultimately, the purpose of the campaign is to improve prediction accuracy for all member states and space agencies. canada goose And so far, their predictions also indicate that there is little cause for concern.

As Holger Krag, the Head of ESA’s Space Debris Office, indicated in a press statement back in November:.

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