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The European Space Agency (ESA) predicted the re-entry period for the Tiangong-1 craft would be from Friday, March 30 to Monday, April 2.

China launched Tiangong-1, or "Heavenly Palace", in September 2011 to demonstrate on-orbit rendezvous and docking capabilities. China's out-of-control space station, Tiangong-1, is getting very close to its expected date of re-entry.

Tiangong-1's re-entry to Earth's atmosphere may also be marked by a fireball, he added.

While most components of the eight-tonne craft are expected to burn up as it re-enters the atmosphere, some debris might survive and make it back to ground level, the statement said. It was launched seven years ago to assert China's ambition to become a space superpower and throw challenge to the West and Russian Federation. That compares with a one-in-1.4 million chance of a person in the United States being struck by lightning.

If you're wondering whether you should spend the next 48 hours building a shelter, experts say the space station will fall between latitudes of 43 degrees north and 43 degrees south.

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While the majority of the eight-tonne spacecraft is likely to burn up while dashing through the atmosphere, some parts of it are expected to hit the ground and this has raised concern just like Skylab had done nearly four decades ago.

Granted, the Mir went through a controlled re-entry over the South Pacific, while no one knows where Tiangong-1 will wind up.

Since being decommissioned the altitude of the space station has been steadily decreasing and it now appears the object will de-orbit and smash into Earth over the Easter long weekend. Scientists there hoped it would be a testament to man's future in space. "So just imagine, it's like having the equivalent of a large truck hurtling towards the earth from approximately 2,000km", ISSA director Kristian Zarb Adami said.

China has recently put the space station into "sleep mode" ahead of it de-orbitization and its replacement with a new model. With Tiangong-1 out of control, though, there was and is now no telling exactly when it would fall out of the sky, nor is there a way to predict where it will fall.

Heavens-above, a satellite tracking site recommended by Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at Harvard University, can tell you when you can see Tiangong-1 passing in the sky above your city, and which direction it's moving in.


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