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Chinese Space Station Could Soon Enter Earth's Atmosphere Over Midwest

A Chinese space station is expected to fall back to Earth in the coming days and while it remains unclear exactly where it will crash, parts of Illinois and Indiana could be impacted. 

According to experts, Tiangong 1 is predicted to enter the earth’s atmosphere sometime between the end of March and early April.

Aerospace predicts the station will re-enter the atmosphere around April 1, give or take a few days, while the European Space Agency predicts re-entry will happen between March 30 and April 6.

The station is expected to burn up on entering the atmosphere, but debris could impact the ground, experts say.

Both agencies note that exact timing and locations are difficult to predict, however both currently estimate a line across the U.S. as some of the likeliest spots.

In a map from Aerospace, the line includes the southern tip of Wisconsin, much of Illinois and Indiana and nearly all of Iowa and Ohio.

Communications were previously cut to the unused experimental station, the first of two built and launched by China. The Tiangong, or "Heavenly Palace," space stations are considered stepping stones to a mission to send a rover to Mars by the end of the decade.

According to Aerospace, the probability someone might be struck by falling debris, however, is "about one million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot." 

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