Tuesday, September 20, 2016

China loses control of it's space station.

China's Tiangong-1 space station has been orbiting the planet for about 5 years now, but recently it was decommissioned and the Chinese astronauts returned to the surface. In a press conference last week, China announced that the space station would be falling back to earth at some point in late 2017.
Normally, a decommissioned satellite or space station would be retired by forcing it to burn up in the atmosphere. This type of burn is controlled, and most satellite re-entries are scheduled to burn up over the ocean to avoid endangering people. However, it seems that China's space agency is not sure exactly when Tiangong-1 will re-enter the atmosphere, which implies that the station has been damaged somehow and China is no longer able to control it.

                       Coming down on your head next year, sometime.


  1. Sandra Bullock could guide it down safely, and look good whilst doing so.

  2. That's a lot of meat to be auguring down -- to land wherever.

    1. Yeah. Imagine the molten bit of that thing coming down in - say - mid town Manhattan.

    2. Only way to prevent with 100% certainty that large chunks don't land in an inconvenient spot is to make sure that *before* re-entry, it is turned into sufficiently *small* chunks...

      Or find a way to 'nudge' it so that it lands where you want it to. Hey! I meant the middle of the Pacific! Honest! ;-)

  3. No problemo! NASA just needs to hire Bruce Willis, his spunky daughter and some intepid oilmen to go up & lasso that thing (the guys will probably insist that they'll never have to pay taxes again, which seems fair.)

    Then they just ride it down to Texas, where they'll make a roadside attraction out of it, right next to the armadillo display. They could call it the Long Gong Returns!