A crippled, out-of-control Chinese space station containing “highly toxic” chemicals is falling back to earth and may strike lower Michigan.
The country’s first prototype station, Tiangong-1, is expected to strike the earth around April 3, according to experts.
Aerospace Corporation, a U.S. research group, said that lower portions of Michigan are among regions with the highest probability of being struck by falling debris from the station.
Other regions where the space station could fall include northern China, central Italy, northern Spain, the Middle East, New Zealand, South America, southern Africa, and northern U.S. states.
Agencies monitoring the crippled station will only know the exact date it will strike the earth and where in the final weeks of its decline.
The 8.5-ton craft has been hurtling towards earth since China lost control of it in 2016. It is believed to contain hydrazine, which is used as rocket fuel but also as a propellant onboard space vehicles, and to both reduce the concentration of dissolved oxygen in and control pH of water used in large industrial boilers.
It is used in the F-16 fighter jet, NASA Space Shuttle, and U-2 spy plane to fuel their emergency power units. The substance produces toxic oxides of nitrogen during combustion. [source]
Analysis: Most of the craft is expected to burn up re-entering the earth’s atmosphere, but experts say that anywhere between 10 and 40 percent of it will survive reentry and strike the ground somewhere.
The chances of anyone being struck, much less killed, by any space debris is slim-to-none. A spokesperson from Aerospace Corp. told British media (link-cited above) that only one person has ever been hit by space debris in the history of space flight, and “fortunately, she was not injured.”