Chinese space satellite to crash into Earth in WEEKS and could release POISONOUS chemicals | Science | News

The massive eight tonne ‘space lab’ named Tiangong-1 vanished from China’s eyes in March 2016, and experts had failed to relocate it.

However, authorities have now tracked it down and predict that it will come hurtling back towards Earth before the end of this month.

The majority of the satellite is set to burn up in the atmosphere but experts believe that junk weighing as much as 100 kilograms could make it to the surface.

And that is not the only potential damage the crashing satellite could cause.

Tiangong-1 contains a rocket fuel known as hydrazine which, if humans are exposed to for long enough, can cause liver and nerve damage.

Aerospace, a technical and scientific research development that assists NASA, writes on its website: “There is a chance that a small amount of Tiangong-1 debris may survive reentry and impact the ground.

“Should this happen, any surviving debris would fall within a region that is a few hundred kilometres in size and centred along a point on the Earth that the station passes over.”

A map from Aerospace shows the most likely place that the satellite will land.

The majority is across water, but in the northern hemisphere it could hit parts of US and the southern tips of Europe, while in the southern hemisphere there is a small chance it could strike Argentina, Chile or New Zealand.

But the space website says that the chances it could hit a human are almost impossible.

Aerospace reads: “When considering the worst-case location (yellow regions of the map) the probability that a specific person (i.e., you) will be struck by Tiangong-1 debris is about one million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot.

“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.”

The satellite was launched in 2011 and had been designed to crash safely into the ocean.

However, as contact was lost, there is now no way to control where the satellite will crash.

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