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Chinese space station to plummet back to Earth, officials say

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China’s first-ever space lab will die a fiery death in Earth’s atmosphere toward the end of next year, Chinese officials said.

The 9.4-ton (8.5 metric tons) Tiangong-1 spacecraft is currently intact and orbiting Earth at an altitude of 230 miles (370 kilometers), according to Wu Ping, deputy director of China’s Manned Space Engineering office. That’s a bit lower than the International Space Station, which usually stays about 250 miles (400 km) above the planet’s surface.

Tiangong-1 will likely fall back to Earth in the second half of 2017, and its demise shouldn’t cause problems here on the ground, Wu said. – READ MORE

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