The Chinese spacecraft, Tiangong-1, has been out of service since September 2016, and is predicted to crash-land in the upcoming days. Experts warn that it could potentially hit few countries–including Morocco.
Tiangong-1, which launched in 2011, was declared “out of control” by the China National Space Administration in 2016. Most of the satellite is expected to burn up as it breaks through Earth’s atmosphere–however some chunks of debris may still hit the ground and spill the highly toxic chemical hydrazine.
“There is a chance that a small amount of Tiangong-1 debris may survive reentry. Should this happen, any surviving debris would fall within an area of few hundred kilometers and would be centered along a trajectory,” according to the U.S.-based Aerospace Corporation, which is retracing the doomed craft’s descent.
According to an analysis by Aerospace, the satellite will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere within the first week of April. Experts predict that the reentry will take place on April 3 at 8:37 a.m. (GMT +1) somewhere between latitudes of 43° North and 43° South. However, the satellite’s exact position and projected trajectory remain unknown.
Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell told the The Guardian, “You really can’t steer these things. Even a couple of days before it [the satellite] re-enters, we probably won’t know more than approximately six or seven hours in advance when it’s going to come down.”
Multiple news sources have reported that Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, France, Spain, and Portugal are among the regions where some debris might be anticipated.
According to the European Space Agency, the risk of damage or injury is “significantly small” as the probability of being hit by a debris from the satellite is about 10 million times lower than the annual probability of being struck by lightning.
Source : moroccoworldnews