Chinese Space Lab Tiangong-1 Is Expected to Fall to Earth in the Next 24 Hours

ESA

The Chinese space lab Tiangong-1 is expected to fall back to Earth within the next 24 hours, putting an end to the nearly 19,000-pound, out-of-control space craft.

Tiangong-1, or “Heavenly Palace,” will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere at some point late Sunday evening or early Monday morning, according to the European Space Agency’s Space Debris Office.

The estimates were made on Coordinated Universal Time, which is four hours ahead of Eastern Time.

The Space Agency notes the spacecraft could hit the Earth anywhere within a large band of 43 degrees north and 43 degrees south of the equator. That area includes the majority of the United States, Mexico, South America, Africa, India, Australia and a host of other countries. The chance of someone getting hit by the spacecraft is very low, as TIME has previously reported. According to the Aerospace Corporation, the odds of someone getting hit by a falling space object like this one is less than 1 in 1 trillion, and debris from the spacecraft will most likely fall into the ocean.

People can expect to see what will look like “a shower of meteors,” according to the China Manned Space Engineering Office.

The “Heavenly Palace” space station was China’s first as the country bulked up its space program. The spacecraft was launched into space in September 2011, and has been the site of a two-man mission and a three-man mission. The latter mission included China’s first female astronaut, Liu Yang.

Tiangong-1 lost connection with Earth back in 2016, however, making the spacecraft’s reentry to the Earth’s atmosphere an out-of-control fall. The unsuccessful orbit for the spacecraft did not slow down China’s space program, however. The country launched the larger Tiangong-2 in September 2016, and that spacecraft is now in orbit.

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