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Sci-Tech

China's Tiangong-1 space station likely to crash over weekend

China's out-of-control space "palace" is about to fall from the heavens, and predictions are zeroing in on April 1 for the station's demise. No fooling.

tiangong-1

An artist's rendition of Tiangong-1 in orbit.

CNSA

China's Tiangong-1 space station is likely out of control and about to collide with Earth's atmosphere. One official prediction for when it will burn up, perhaps leaving a few chunks to impact the surface, has now been narrowed down to a specific window of just two days this coming weekend.

According to the latest reentry forecast from the European Space Agency, Tiangong-1 (or "Heavenly Palace-1" in English) is estimated to come crashing down sometime between Saturday morning, March 31 UTC (Friday night, Pacific Time)  and early Monday morning (Sunday evening, PT). That's a range of less than 48 hours, the shortest period of time we've seen predicted so far. 

Now playing: Watch this: Tiangong-1 space station could crash on April 1 (no joke)
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The closer we get to what could be a spectacular show of fireballs streaking across the sky, the more likely it seems the uncontrolled Heavenly Palace is going to come down on or near April Fool's Day.

At over 9 tons, Tiangong-1 is no joke, though. Fortunately, any pieces that don't burn up completely are likely to splash into the ocean or the middle of nowhere. Check out my earlier post for everything you need to know about the fall of the Heavenly Palace

If you want to be sure not to miss all that crispy space station action, the Virtual Telescope Project plans to stream live coverage starting as early as Wednesday morning.