How to track the spiraling Chinese space station as it falls from orbit

Microsoft’s Windows chief departs as the company pushes further towards AI and the cloud
March 29, 2018
The new Westworld season 2 trailer promises humans and hosts at war
March 29, 2018

China's spiral space station, Tiangong-1, appears to be collapsing on Earth and will burn in the atmosphere sometime on April 1, although it will still be debated where it will fall. So, if you want to be aware of the whereabouts of Tiangong-1 over the weekend, there are numerous space agencies and websites to follow.
First, a reminder: this space station is the last thing to worry about. Tiangong-1 has been touted as being particularly heavy and dense, so large pieces of it are expected to survive to the ground. In addition, China lost the ability to control the station from Earth, so the country's space agency can not simply turn the station over the open ocean. That said, the chances of Tiangong-1 crashing into a person or house are infinitesimal. And if it makes you feel better, a piece of space debris almost as heavy as Tiangong-1 fell to Earth earlier this year; nobody panicked and nobody got hurt.
But maybe you can not stop worrying about Tiangong-1. We understand. These websites will help you follow your descent:
If you are looking for a map of where Tiangong-1 is at all times in its orbit, SatView is your friend. The website shows you the projected path of the space station and where it is located above the Earth at any given time. It also includes maps of planned re-entry points based on the modeling of both the website and the Strategic Command of the United States, an army unit that is responsible for tracking space debris.
The European Space Agency
The Space Debris Office of ESA has been maintaining a daily blog of the altitude of Tiangong-1, along with the most current re-entry date. The page also links to the useful FAQ page of the ESA, which gives you all the information about what happens with the station.
The Aerospace Corporation
This nonprofit organization based in California provides guidance and research in space missions, and is a reference resource for all space debris. The corporation's website has created a complete page dedicated to tracking Tiangong-1, which shows details about the vehicle, its current location and when it is expected to be submerged in the atmosphere. There's even a funny animated video that illustrates how the spacecraft will re-enter.

China Space Agency
In mid-March, China began to provide daily updates on the state of Tiangong-1, according to the GB Times. The agency's updates are short and pleasant, and provide the latest details about the station's altitude, its orbit and when Tiangong-1 is expected to fall.
Very few space enthusiasts follow the saga of Tiangong-1, too. Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a space debris enthusiast, has been a valuable resource in tracking the station (so you may have seen it in most of the articles on Tiangong-1) . Marco Langbroek, who considers himself a "spy satellite tracker," has also been publishing frequent updates, and maps! – in your Twitter account.
And if you simply can not get enough …
If you want to chat with other space enthusiasts about Tiangong-1, there is a forum just for that. has a publication in the forum dedicated to the space station, which extends from the moment the vehicle was first launched. This is the place where you can take your tracking skills to a higher level.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept that my given data and my IP address is sent to a server in the USA only for the purpose of spam prevention through the Akismet program.More information on Akismet and GDPR.