Space lab falls from orbit and incinerates in Earth's atmosphere in STUNNING film

Most of the space lab incinerated in Earth’s atmosphere on re-entry. And a small amount of space debris fell into a designated area in the South Pacific. Tiangong-2 has been in orbit for more than a 1,000 days – far longer than its planned two-year lifespan – after launching from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in September, 2016.

During that time it has accommodated two astronauts for 30 days, and conducted several cutting-edge science experiments.

Zhu Zongpeng, chief space lab designer at the China Academy of Space Technology, Tiangong-2 was in good condition and could have continued to orbit for several more years.

However, the decision was taken to de-orbit the space lab “responsibly”, before it got too old.

Zhu told reporters: ”Tiangong-2’s voluntary retirement is meant to eliminate all risks.

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“Otherwise, the in-orbit reliability of the space lab will decline as the extended service stretches further longer than it was originally intended.

“Once some anomalies occur, Tiangong-2 would uncontrollably fall back to the atmosphere, and some parts might not be completely burned, with its debris falling to the ground, posing a threat to people.”

Tiangong-2 used a two-step strategy for its controlled de-orbit, ensure the descent took place at a designated time and location.

First, the space lab was lowered to an elliptical orbit of 200km.

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And it then descended it to an elliptical orbit of 43 miles (70km) prior to its fiery re-entry through the atmosphere.

The planned de-orbit of Tiangong-2 comes after its predecessor, Tiangong-1, lost power in April 2018 and made an uncontrolled crash landing.

Tiangong-1 was initially supposed to be taken out of service in 2013, but its mission was repeatedly extended until China lost communication with the spacecraft.

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Fortunately debris from the doomed spacecraft, which was travelling at 17,000mph, fell into the ocean, avoiding any casualties.

China is now preparing to launch its third temporary orbital lab, Tiangong-3, which will used to test key technologies.

The country’s ultimate aim is to launch a “real” space station in 2020, which will allow China will play a bigger role in satellite space exploration, manned space flight and space control.


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