China's space station is plummeting back to Earth Today


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China's Tiangong-2 spacecraft is currently rapidly descending towards Earth after deliberately dropping out of Earth's orbit.

Its path back to Earth will be a destructive one as it is expected the spacecraft will burn up upon re-entry.  

The space station, which means 'Heavenly body' in Chinese, will be destroyed at some point today, and any debris that survives re-entry will likely be harmlessly scattered throughout the Pacific ocean between New Zealand and Chile.

Its progress and inevitable destruction can be tracked here.

 China's Tiangong-2 spacecraft is currently rapidly descending towards Earth after deliberately dropping out of Earth's orbit.It is expected to burn up in the atmosphere later today

China's Tiangong-2 spacecraft is currently rapidly descending towards Earth after deliberately dropping out of Earth's orbit.It is expected to burn up in the atmosphere later today

 The space station, which means 'Heavenly body' in Chinese, will be destroyed at some point today, and any debris that survives re-entry will likely be harmlessly scattered throughout the Pacific ocean between New Zealand and Chile

The space station, which means 'Heavenly body' in Chinese, will be destroyed at some point today, and any debris that survives re-entry will likely be harmlessly scattered throughout the Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and Chile

It is currently still functional but its planned death by inferno was initiated more than a year ago.

Its altitude has been dropping rapidly, falling from 180 miles to 120 miles above the planet in just an hour.

Its current angle relative to Earth's surface has also become far steeper, rising to a near-vertical 81° from a more gentile 35° just an hour previous. 

Tiangong-2 was never destined to be a permanent fixture in space and was designed to be destroyed in Earth's atmosphere at some point.

Its demise is intentional, unlike the fiery death of its ill-fated predecessor, Tiangong-1, which hurtled towards Earth uncontrollably after the Chinese space agency lost contact with it last year.

Tiangong-1 carried toxic chemicals on-board when it crashed to Earth on Easter Sunday.

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang attempt to quell fears of the bus-sized space station, weighing 8.5-tons hitting a densely populated area.

He said last year: ‘If there is a need, we will promptly be in touch with the relevant country.

'As to what I have heard, at present the chances of large fragments falling to the ground are not very great, the probability is extremely small.'

 Tiangong-2 (pictured here docking with another craft) was never destined to be a permanent fixture in space and was designed to be destroyed in Earth's atmosphere at some point. Its demise is intentional, unlike the fiery death of its ill-fated predecessor, Tiangong-1

Tiangong-2 (pictured here docking with another craft) was never destined to be a permanent fixture in space and was designed to be destroyed in Earth's atmosphere at some point. Its demise is intentional, unlike the fiery death of its ill-fated predecessor, Tiangong-1

 Its demise is intentional, unlike the fiery death of its ill-fated predecessor, Tiangong-1, which hurtled towards Earth uncontrollably after the Chinese space agency lost contact with it last year

Its demise is intentional, unlike the fiery death of its ill-fated predecessor, Tiangong-1, which hurtled towards Earth uncontrollably after the Chinese space agency lost contact with it last year

Tiangong-2 launched in 2016 and a range of experiments were conducted inside it.

Two astronauts travelled to it to study the impact of space on human physiology and other trials include three docking and refuelling tests with a cargo satellite.

Its entire mission served to lay the foundations for the more ambitious goals of China's space desires.

After sending a rover to the far side of the moon, it intends to build on this success and launch a much larger space station next year.

It will be about a fifth of the size of the ISS.

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