China’s Tiangong-1 space lab was billed as a potent symbol of the country’s rise when it launched in 2011.
Now, the lab is out of control and expected to crash-land on Earth by the end of March — posing a minuscule risk to humans but inflicting a blot on the nation’s bold push to become a space superpower.
“They have a PR embarrassment on their hands,” said Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “The actual danger is small, but it is accepted international best practice nowadays that objects that big shouldn’t be able to fall out of the sky in this manner.”
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Published January 5, 2018