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 Post subject: Tiangong-1 in trouble?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Posts: 5275
Location: Lancashire
China's national space agency is reported to have lost radio contact with its orbiting space station Tiangong-1 ( "Heavenly Palace" ) since March. This means that control of the Station's descent will be lost too.
It's feared that the Station is in a decaying orbit and that if there's disintegration, parts of the Station would crash to earth. The 34 feet long manned space laboratory was launched in 2011 and the last occupiers returned to Earth in June 13. There were reports on March 21 that all telemetry with the Station had failed:
Thomas Dorman, a satellite tracker and monitor of Tiangong-1, told the Space.com website: "If I am right, China will wait until the last minute to let the World know it has a problem with their space station. It could be a really bad day if pieces of this came down in a populated area... but odds are that it will land in the ocean or in an unpopulated area." Mr. Dorman added," sometimes the odds just do not work out, so this may bear watching."
China's Tiangong-2 was dispatched to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi desert at the weekend and a launch is set for September. The new station should allow two astronauts to stay onboard for up to a month.

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