Watch Out For Falling Chinese Space Junk
It might sound like an April Fool's joke set-up but it's for real: a dying Chinese space lab is expected to fall to Earth this Sunday April 1 (give or take a day or so), and maybe in the Berkshires.
OK, it's a really BIG maybe, but the school bus-sized, 8.5 ton Tiangong-1 is expected to come down somewhere on Earth between about 43 degrees north & 43 degrees south latitudes, which geographically includes the Berkshires. We're pretty much on the northernmost point of a belt that extends deep into South America and wraps around the world. Out of that massive area, researchers expect most of the surviving pieces to fall along a path of about 1,240 miles long by 43 miles wide. Most of the craft is expected to burn up as it plummets through the atmosphere, producing a sky show but little else.
Your chance of getting bonked on the bean by a chunk of Chinese space junk this weekend is pegged at less than 1 in 1 trillion, according to researchers at Aerospace Corp. And that's conservative: the European Space Agency puts odds at 1 in 300 trillion, or about 10 million times smaller than the annual odds of being struck by lightning.
But it could happen, and we thought you'd like to know.