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China Space Station Tiangong-1 Could Secretly Be Hurtling Towards Earth, Astronomers Say

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http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/china-space-station-tiangong-1-could-secretly-be-hurtling-towards-earth-astronomers-say-a7132401.html

China’s first space station might be in freefall in space and on its way to crashing back down to Earth.

The Tiangong-1 satellite was launched in 2011, and should have come back down to Earth in the ocean in a controlled crash. But watchers have said that it now appears to have gone into freewill, with China losing control of it, and so it could crash down onto the Earth any time.

Like other lost satellites, it’s likely that the freefalling station would burn up on its way back into Earth and come back down as molten metal rather than with a big crash. But people have warned that it could still be a “real bad day” if the rocket fell back down to Earth, “but odds are it will land in the ocean or in an unpopulated area”.

..

Since then it has been in an “operation management phase”, which sees its orbit controlled as it flies around Earth. It still undertakes some investigative and scientific work as it gets ready to come back to Earth, according to a statement from Chinese officials.

But an amateur astronomer called Thomas Dorman has been watching the movement of the satellite and believes that China has lost control of it. The fact that China has given no public statement on its safety could mean that it is lost, he told Space.com.

“"If I am right, China will wait until the last minute to let the world know it has a problem with their space station," Mr Dorman said.

Surely either NASA or ESA are tracking all these satellites?

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Can't they get someone who has a vague idea what they're talking about to write these things? Anything in orbit is in freefall, and calling it a rocket makes as much sense as calling a car a lorry just because it was delivered by one.

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Can't they get someone who has a vague idea what they're talking about to write these things? Anything in orbit is in freefall, and calling it a rocket makes as much sense as calling a car a lorry just because it was delivered by one.

British Space Expertert Tim Peake says it is a stalactite, which is one of those pointy things that are up on the ceiling called the sky. He knows about these things, because he was once up in the sky himself.

He says the sky is very big, even bigger than the World, which is how the World fits inside it.

Also, other things fall from the sky, called meteortits. If it doesn't burn up in the sky, and lands, it is called a rock.

Mr Peake is available for school science events and school assemblies.

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Wasn't it built by Wei Fooked Up?

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Sandra Bullock is as we are speaking, relaying the info to an Inuit Eskimo who will pass it on via short wave radio, but not before shooting his dog.

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Sandra Bullock is as we are speaking, relaying the info to an Inuit Eskimo who will pass it on via short wave radio, but not before shooting his dog.

I am the only person on the planet not to have seen this film - I think I have an idea of how she is saved.

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Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo Too.

I have a thing for the actress who played Thelma in the bad films. That intelligent geek thing does it for me - remove the glasses, let down the hair, etc, etc. I also have a thing for women in short skirts. Basically, I am a bloke.

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What film?

I've seen it.

Gravity - it sucks.

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It's just a click-farm these days. I don't think they even bother with a hard copy anymore.

It was the first newspaper I took whilst at university[1]. Later, I moved with Alex to the Telegraph. These days I go without news and life's much improved.

[1] That sentence sounds rather archaic, doesn't it? Do people still "take" a newspaper? Am I the only diehard who refuses to say "uni"?

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I am the only person on the planet not to have seen this film - I think I have an idea of how she is saved.

Hey, my son loves this film.

PS He's 5 years old.

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They had to make severe cuts to their journalism so they now get all their stories from newswires and the Internet. The more eye catching, the better.

Sure, but surely they should be able to manage at least one out of:

  • a story,
  • an understanding of the subject matter,
  • the ability to write well.

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