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China's tumbling space station burns up over South Pacific

China's tumbling space station burns up over South Pacific

The Tiangong-1 "mostly" burnt up above the vast ocean's central region at 8:15 am (0015 GMT), China's Manned Space Engineering Office said.

"One of our missions, which we remain focused on, is to monitor space and the tens of thousands of pieces of debris that congest it, while at the same time working with allies and partners to enhance spaceflight safety and increase transparency in the space domain".

The space lab flew down from orbit towards the South Pacific at around 8:16 pm Eastern Time.

Most famously, America's 77-ton Skylab crashed through the atmosphere in 1979, spreading pieces of wreckage near the southwest Australian city of Perth, which fined the USA $400 for littering.

"All nations benefit from a safe, stable, sustainable, and secure space doman", Whiting said in a statement.

SHANGHAI-China's Tiangong-1 space station re-entered the Earth's atmosphere and burned up over the middle of the South Pacific on Monday, the Chinese space authority said.

"The Chinese space agency had originally planned to bring the lab back in a more controlled way", Rebecca says.

Tiangong-1 is forecast to re-enter in an area centered on 19.4 degrees west longitude and 10.2 degrees south latitude in the southern Atlantic Ocean.

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In June 2013, female astronaut Wang Yaping aboard Tiangong-1 delivered a lecture to students on Earth about physics, inspiring public enthusiasm for science and space exploration.

China sent another space lab, Tiangong-2, into orbit in September 2016 as a stepping stone to its goal of having a crewed space station by 2022.

Chinese media has downplayed comments by the ESA and others that the country's engineers have lost control of the lab, with reports saying that the idea it is "out of control" is an invention of the foreign media.

The Tiangong, or Heavenly Palace, is orbiting at an average height of about 216.2km, the announcement noted, but did not disclose any re-entry location.

Quoting CMSEO, the spokesman said that Tiangong-1 re-entered earth atmosphere this morning.

As predicted, China's Tiangong-1 space lab fell from the sky on Sunday evening. NASA's Skylab space station had a mass of more than 80 tons (around 75 metric tons) when it came down over Australia in 1979.

The spacecraft - about the size of a city bus - nearly entirely burned up on its entrance to the Earth's atmosphere, breaking into small pieces as it fell over the South Pacific Ocean, NPR reports.

A new rocket, the Long March 5, was recently introduced to perform the heavy lifting that will be required to get the core module in orbit.

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