Space experts predict the Tiangong-1 space station, or “Heavenly Palace”, will turn into a spectacular fireball as it enters Earth’s atmosphere today.
According to the latest predictions, it will begin its fiery descent into Earth’s atmosphere around 10:30 AM AEST — give or take 1.7 hours.
There are concerns the bus-sized spacecraft is out of control.
That means some debris from the fireball could hit the Earth somewhere under its final orbit in a band between 43 degrees north and south of the equator. This orbit does not pass over Australia.
Current predictions indicate the spacecraft will re-enter over the south Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile. But it is impossible to pinpoint the exact crash site.
You would have to be extremely unlucky to be taken out by a chunk of debris from Tiangong-1, according to space engineer Warwick Holmes, executive director of space engineering at the University of Sydney’s School of Aerospace.
For a start, he said, 70 per cent of the world is covered by ocean.
“Everyone thinks they’re going to get hit by the Chinese space station. I promise you it’s just not going to happen,” Mr Holmes said.
“You’ve got a greater probability of getting hit by a car crossing a Sydney road today than you’re going to get hit by the Chinese space station