英媒: 又一个中国太空站即将坠向地球?

Is another Chinese space station about to plunge back to Earth? Nation’s Tiangong-2 craft drops 60 miles to orbit strangely close to our planet, and the go nment won't reveal why


Tiangong-2 was launched aboard a Long March 2F rocket in September 2016

Experts in the US monitored the drop in altitude for ten days from June 13

They believe the movements suggest China is preparing to decommission it

They will be hoping for a more controlled re-entry than its predecessor station

Tiangong-1 hit headlines when it came plummeting back to Earth in April


Yet another Chinese space station could be about to plunge back to Earth.

Three months after Tiangong-1 made a fiery re-entry into our atmosphere, it's sister craft, Tiangong-2, looks like it's about to do the same.

But unlike Tiangong-1, Tiangong-2 could have a more controlled descent.

The spacecraft was observed plummeting around 60 miles (95 km) toward the surface of the planet.

It has since returned to its normal orbital height, sparking speculation that China may be preparing to decommission the vessel in the near future.



China will be hoping to avoid an embarrassing repeat of the events of April, when the nation's out-of-control Tiangong-1 space station returned to Earth with a bang.

China's Manned Space Engineering Office has yet to release an official statement on the latest situation.

The manoeuvres became apparent thanks to orbital information made public by US Strategic Command.


Its Joint Space Operations Center, located at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, claims the station lowered from an altitude of between 236 and 240 miles (380 to 386 km) to between 181 to 185 miles (292 to 297 km) on June 13.

It remained at that altitude for ten days, before returning its original height above the planet.

Experts believe this suggests China is preparing to decommission the station in a more controlled manner than Tiangong-1.


Tiangong-1 spiralled out of control, with little certainty possible about when and where it might land.

China's controlled thrust tests, lowering and raising the satellite on command, hint at a desire to bring the station down at a time and place of their choosing.

While it is unclear exactly when they plan to do so, an area known as the 'satellite graveyard' seems a likely location for touch down.

This is a region of the South Pacific Ocean commonly used by Russian and US space agencies to dump debris.



Speaking to SpaceNews, Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said: 'It seems likely that the lowering of Tiangong-2’s orbit is the first step in safely disposing of it.'

To track the satellite's orbital path above the Earth in realtime, visit Satview.




原创翻译:三泰虎  http://www.santaihu.com/45395.html 译者:Jessica.Wu


AEinstein, Princeton, United States, about 4 hours ago

Hope their military technology is equally bad.



Pete Extra, Shepherds Bush, United Kingdom, about 7 hours ago

I'm going with Occam's Razor on this... The simplest answer is that they're preparing to ditch. It's obviously under full control.



T_empathy, Germany, Germany, about 8 hours ago

This is what happens when you include dog meat into your diet !



T_empathy, Germany, Germany, about 8 hours ago

That is what happens when you steal Intellectual Property ... lots of missing links ! Governments around the world ought to stop the influx of these thieves and their thriving ways ( I.e .... hacking ) .



swaneer, Alfheim, United States, about 9 hours ago

If it falls out of the sky and lands in the U.S., China is going to have to pay a big tariff bill on all that aluminum and steel.



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