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China's Tiangong-1 space station could fall to Earth on Easter weekend

Officials say Chinese space station expected to crash to earth soon

The UAI has compiled a table that lists when Tiangong-1 will be passing over or near parts of Italy: find the data here.

Beijing has been unable to pinpoint where the debris might fall because the spacecraft is now entirely out of control.

In case Tiangong-1 causes any extensive damage through its fall, it is China - the launching state - which would be responsible for compensating for the damage. NASA shut down its Space Shuttle Program following the launch of Atlantis in July 2011 and has sent astronauts up to the International Space Station on Russian launches ever since.

Tiangong-1 was the first space lab China put into orbit.

Scientists are nervously watching the 19,000-pound Tiangong 1, which will likely make its way back to Earth around April 1, according to the Aerospace Corporation that is closely monitoring the situation.

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Figuring out where the space lab will fall is a complex calculation of the station's altitude, the height of the Earth's atmosphere (which changes according to solar activity) and the station's shape.

Having a roughly 5-day window to watch means that the space station could really fall anywhere, but even as the window narrows, it is still going to be quite hard to know where Tiangong-1 is going to come down. However, the space station will re-enter somewhere between the latitudes of 43 degrees north and 43 degrees south, based on its current orbital inclination. Mr Aboutanios said if that happens during night time over a populated area it "will most certainly be visible, like a meteor or a shooting star".

The spacecraft weighs approximately 8 tonnes and is 10 metres long, however, it turns out all of those sci-fi movies were right about one thing: the atmosphere will tear apart a space station. While the most probable location for debris to fall is into the oceans, any pieces falling on land should be avoided and reported immediately, as they may be contaminated with hydrazine, a highly toxic and corrosive chemical that is used as spacecraft fuel. Nobody was aboard Skylab or the Salyut-Cosmos 1686 complex when they hit Earth's atmosphere. Not to worry about impact, though; the chance of a person actually being hit by a piece of such a satellite are calculated at about one on 21 trillion.

The Guardian reports in a previous report that several space crafts or space stations have come crashing through the atmosphere to Earth without killing or injuring anyone in the past. "But luckily, most of the Earth is made up of water and it is likely that the Tiangong-1 will end up in a safe unpopulated zone like the Pacific", Prof.

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