Spacecraft graveyard: Expert says Earth’s re-entry of Tiangong-1 was coincidental

NASASpaceFlight.com's Chris Gebhardt

Chris Gebhardt of nasaspaceflight.com joins the Matt Bubala Show once again to talk about the hours leading up to re-entry of a Chinese station,  Tiangong-1. A fireball streak was captured on a weather satellite. Gebhardt says even with all the uncertainty of where it would land, thee prediction was pretty spot on.

Gebhardt says that debris of the space station came in over the Pacific, only a few hundred miles away from what is called a “spacecraft graveyard.” Gebhardt describes this as the ideal place of re-entry, because it didn’t impact any animals, homes, or humans. China issued a final advisory window shortly before the the space craft re-entered Earth, but even with great orbital data, it was still an unpredictable of where it would actually land. “It was purely coincidental,” he says.

Gebhardt says it’s “exciting to watch from how much we are learning.” If something like this were to happen in the future, NASA and the space agencies involved would be able to give better predictions.  To learn more, check out Gebhardt’s website to stay updated on his next projects.