The Tiangong-1 Chinese space station will collide with Earth

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Much of Tiangong-1 will burn up in the atmosphere, reports Chinese news agency Xinhua. But pieces as heavy as 100 kilograms (220 pounds) might make it down to the ground. The Chinese space laboratory circles the Earth many times per day. Re-entry could occur across about two-thirds of the planet’s surface. The zone of greatest risk cuts right through the heart of mainland U.S. from Northern California and Oregon all the way to Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Other locations are possible. Reentry will take place anywhere between 43ºN and 43ºS (e.g. Spain, France, Portugal, Greece, etc.). Or the Iberian Peninsula, China, the Middle East, South America, Australia, and New Zealand…

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In 1997, Lottie Williams from Tulsa, Oklahoma, was struck by a piece of charred mesh believed to have come from a returning Delta II rocket. She is the only known person ever hit by a piece of space junk. She was not injured by the small object. While it probably won’t be dangerous, the re-entry should be spectacular.

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