Another Skylab? Out-of-control Chinese space station raining down on Europe, says ESA

China had lost control of its Tiangong-1 space station last year and it may come down raining like Skylab in the mid-1970s.

Previously, it was reported that China had lost control of its 8.5-tonne Tiangong-1 space station last year and it started plummeting towards Earth since then. As we know that the space station is quite close to the surface of Earth now and may hit the planet by early 2018.

The People's Republic had finally revealed the catastrophic failure in September and announced that Tiangong-1 could hit the planet at any moment.

Recently, the European Space Agency (ESA) has narrowed down the possible crash sites to a number of locations, with 13 other agencies around the world also monitoring its descent. However, the scientists have already said that it is impossible to predict the exact site where the space station might crash land, as even a minor change in the atmosphere can push the landing site of the Chinese space station from one continent to the next.

Holger Krag, Head of ESA's Space Debris Office, said there is a chance that the debris of Tiangong-1 will come raining down on Spain, Portugal, Italy, Bulgaria and Greece.

"Owing to the geometry of the station's orbit, we can already exclude the possibility that any fragments will fall over any spot further north than 43 degrees North or further south than 43 degrees South. This means that re-entry may take place over any spot on Earth between these latitudes, which includes several European countries, for example. The date, time and geographic footprint of the re-entry can only be predicted with large uncertainties. Even shortly before re-entry, only a very large time and the geographical window can be estimated," he said, reported Daily Star.

It has also been noted by the ESA that no one has ever been killed by the falling debris of the out of control space stations or satellites in the history of spaceflight.

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The Tiangong-1 spacecraft is 12 metres long with a diameter of 3.3 metres and had a launch mass of 8,506 kg. It has been unoccupied since 2013 and there has been no contact with it since 2016.