See China's Falling Space Station in These Radar Images

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According to the European Space Agency and space debris experts the chances of being personally hit by a piece of space metal are practically zero, especially in Malta.

However, given China's confidential way of doing things, it has not released every detail about the Tiangong-1's design and hence the experts were not sure how much percentage of the station would survive the re-entry in the atmosphere.

The European Space Agency is providing re-entry updates every day or two on its blog, including on the lab's potential landing zone, its altitude changes, and the re-entry window, which the agency now puts between March 30 and April 2.

ESA stated: "Given the uncontrolled nature of this re-entry event, the zone over which fragments might fall stretches over a curved ellipsoid that is thousands of kilometres in length and tens of kilometres wide". Along with its successor - the Tiangong-2, which launched in 2016 - it was a prototype for China's ultimate space goal: a permanent, 20-ton space station that is expected to launch around 2022.

China launched Tiangong-1, or "Heavenly Palace", in September 2011 to demonstrate on-orbit rendezvous and docking capabilities.

TIME notes that Tiangong-1 is small when it comes to space stations, and that NASA made its own uncontrolled space station entry back into Earth in 1979 with its much larger 77-ton NASA SkyLab.

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Nevertheless, Chinese scientists do not know where and when Tiangong-1 will crash, describing its time-frame for re-entry as "highly variable".

China admitted past year it no longer had control of the space station -- and now it's getting close to plummeting back to Earth. Not to worry about impact, though; the chance of a person actually being hit by a piece of such a satellite are calculated at about one on 21 trillion. "For your safety, do not touch any debris you may find on the ground nor inhale vapors it may emit".

Tiangong-1's re-entry to Earth's atmosphere may also be marked by a fireball, he added.

"The best case-and most likely case-is that it will come down over water some place and never be seen again", says Ailor.

The fact that Beijing also lies in Tiangong-1's "hit belt" has prompted some space aficionados to wish the "rogue" space lab, now running wild at an average height of 216.2 kilometers, heads straight back to the Chinese capital, rather than anywhere else, on its "homecoming trip". He predicted that most of it would burn up when it entered the atmosphere while the rest would fall into the sea.

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