The wreckage of China’s first orbital laboratory “Tiangong-1” ( “Heavenly Palace-1”) may fall to Earth in 2018, according to the European Space Agency (ESA).
“Early next year, the desert Chinese space station Tiangong-1 is expected to enter the atmosphere after the termination of its functional life is expected that most of the ship will have to be burned.” – noted in the ESA.
Nevertheless, international experts will monitor the fall of the station. The ESA has already determined the boundaries in which the fragments of “Tiangun-1” may turn out to be. In particular, the risk zone includes the territory of some European countries.
At the end of March 2016, the station completely ceased to function. The project period of her service was exceeded by two and a half years. Earlier it was expected that “Heavenly Palace-1” would burn in the Earth’s atmosphere at the end of 2017, but later predictions predicted that the station would cease to exist in the spring of 2018.
Launch of Tiangong-1 took place on 29 September 2011 on the launch vehicle CZ-2FT1 “Long March-2FT1” ( “Long March-2F”) with the Chinese Jiuquan spaceport. Thus, China became the third power after Russia and the United States, which built its own space station. Its key tasks were the demonstration of the power of the PRC to the world, as well as the development of technologies for convergence and docking of Shenzhou ships, both in cargo and in manned versions. “Heavenly Palace” during his work in orbit visited the Chinese cosmonauts, including two women.
To replace Tiangong-1 from the Chinese space center Jiuquan September 15, 2016, the second scientific laboratory Tiangong-2, or “Heavenly Palace -2” was launched. The main objectives of “Tiangong-2” should be welcome manned and cargo ships, testing medium Spent astronauts orbit refueling, as well as holding a number of scientific and applied experiments. “Tiangun-2” became the second orbital laboratory of China, its length is 10.4 meters, diameter – 3.35 meters, weight – 8.6 tons.