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Chinese space station expected to fall near S. America: ministry

Tiangong-1 reentry window forecast as of 27 March Credit ESA

Exactly when the Tiangong space station will hit the Earth is still up in the air but scientists are tracking the station and narrowing down the time. Eastern Daylight Time on April 1, 2018 with a window of plus or minus 7 hours.

Experts say it is almost impossible to determine the exact time and location of the crash.

China sent another lab into orbit, the Tiangong-2, in September 2016 and is a stepping stone to its goal of having a crewed space station by 2022.

The space station is expected to fall somewhere between the latitudes of 42.7 degrees north and 42.7 degrees south, a range that empresses the border of South Dakota and Nebraska in the north and Tasmania in the south.

"Northern Europe including France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland are definitely on the safe side".

"It's been tumbling and spinning for a while, which means that when it really starts to come down it's less predictable about what happens to it", Tucker said.

Thirteen space agencies, under the leadership of the European Space Agency, are now following its path around the globe, modelling its behaviour.

How big is it - and will it hit me?

Weighing 19,000 lbs, it is approximately the size of a small school bus. There was no immediate update on whether any of the space station's debris landed on any populated areas.

The components that most often seem to avoid burning up in the atmosphere are tanks.

When it reaches a height of about 70 kilometres above the surface, the atmosphere will start to melt the station.

Roughly the size of a school bus, the Tiangong-1 is an out-of-control space station that is now falling toward Earth.

The Aerospace Corp, in China, said Tiangong-1 re-entered the atmosphere above the South Pacific at 12.15am GMT, off the coast of Tahiti.

No one has ever been killed by space debris and only one person has ever been hit by space debris.

"There have been 13,000 tonnes of space hardware coming down in the whole history of space flight and there has not been a single casualty reported", says Krag.

The scientists have been predicting its crash since the China Manned Space engineering office declared "mission over" in 2016. The station carried hydrazine, a highly toxic rocket fuel.

It will take a lot of luck to catch a glimpse of the Heavenly Palace's final moments.

If you're not much of a stargazer, it may look like a shooting star to you.

It's likely that most of Tiangong-1 will burn up in the atmosphere, but there's a chance fragments as large as 220 pounds survive the trip and strike the Earth.