Tiangong 1: Tracking the Chinese satellite falling to Earth

European Space Agency releases new information about the spacecraft that is plunging toward Earth

Tiangong 1, China’s defunct and reportedly out-of-control space station, is about to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and on Saturday the European Space Agencyreleased new tracking information on the falling spacecraft. ESA officials are now targeting 7:25 p.m. EDT (2325 GMT) Sunday as the likely time for re-rentry.

Meanwhile, the Aerospace Corp. is now forecasting a 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) crash on Sunday, give or take eight hours.

The tumbling spacecraft poses only a slight risk to people and property on the ground, since most of the 8.5-ton vehicle is expected to burn up on re-entry, although space agencies don’t know exactly where that will happen.

Below are some questions and answers about the station, its re-entry and the past and future of China’s ambitious space program.

Source: Tiangong 1: Tracking the Chinese satellite falling to Earth