If you are a space enthusiast, you might have already come across rumors of one of China’s space stations going rogue. While there wasn’t any official word on the topic for a long time after the rumors first sprung up, China has finally made an statement confirming that it’s space agency is no longer in control of the station.
The Chinese space station had been orbiting the earth since September 2011. Recently, China decommissioned the mega-structure and the astronauts on-board returned back to the surface. This was taken to mean that the space station would soon start falling back to earth, although no schedule for the same was provided.
That might seem like a dangerous affair, but this is just how things work out there in the vastness of space. Once decommissioned, all space vehicles and satellites eventually lose contact with their corresponding stations on earth and start falling towards the surface, finally getting burnt up in a controlled fashion.
Unfortunately, China has now confirmed that control over Tiangong-1 has been lost. This means that its fall will be uncontrolled. The only prediction the Chinese agency could come close to making is that the space station will be making its way back to earth at some point in late 2017.
The loss of control on the structure means that China can no longer control when, where and how the space station will fall and burn up. This could be potentially dangerous and pose a significant hazard as debris from the structure could land on populated areas and cause damage to life and property.
Fortunately, chances of this are pretty low considering the fact that our planet is quite huge and though we may not realize it, most of it is actually barren or covered with water. Still, be cautious when you look up, particularly in the late 2017s. For all we know, the debris may just decide to land in the middle of say, NY. Meanwhile, we are sure that the other space agencies, such as NASA, are keeping a tab on the whole situation and will issue a warning if something of the sort happens.