China’s defunct Tiangong-1 space lab re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere around 8.15 am on Monday (5.45 am Indian time) and a vast majority of it had burnt up over the South Pacific, China’s Manned Space Agency said.
The space authority had earlier said that it was expected to re-enter off the Brazilian coast in the South Atlantic near Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It also added that it was unlikely that any large pieces would reach the ground.
The China Manned Space Engineering Office said there is no reason for people to worry. Falling spacecraft do not crash into the Earth fiercely like they are showed in movies, the agency said on social media, according to The Guardian. It instead turns into a splendid meteor shower, it added.
The Tiangong-1 was launched in 2011 to carry out docking and orbit experiments. The 10.4-metre-long was part of China’s space programme, which aims to build a permanent manned space station in orbit by 2023. However, Tiangong-1 stopped working in March 2016.
Beijing had said the module would re-enter in late 2016, however, that process was delayed. This has led some experts to believe that Tiangong-1 is out of control.