China’s first space station is expected to come crashing down to Earth next year, fuelling concerns that Chinese space authorities have lost control of the 8.5-tonne module. The Tiangong-1 or “Heavenly Palace” lab was described as a “potent political symbol” of China’s growing power when it was launched in 2011 as part of an ambitious scientific push to turn China into a space superpower. Alien life, or noise? Russian telescope detects 'strong signal' from sun-like star Read more However, speaking at a satellite launch centre in the Gobi Desert last week officials said the unmanned module had now “comprehensively fulfilled its historical mission” and was set to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere at some point in the second half of 2017.
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