Tiangong-1: the lost Chinese space station
A Chinese space station, launched in 2012, had an electrical failure and lost communication in 2016.
The Tiangong-1 (Heavenly Palace 1) was initially designed to be the first Chinese space station to cooperate with the International Space Station, European Space Agency, NASA and Roscosmos. This cooperation had yet to happen due to previous political issues between the US and China.
Tiangong1 weighs 8.2 tons and has the ability to accommodate 2-3 Taikonauts (Chinese astronauts). This element orbits at 250 km above Earth’s surface with an orbit inclination of 50°, positioning the station over heavily populated areas of the Earth.
There have been two manned missions to the Tiangong-1:
On 21 March, 2016, Chinese news agency, Xinhuanet, reported that telemetry services with the Tiangong-1 had ceased. Xinhuanet stated, ‘After an operational orbit of 1,630 days, China's first space lab Tiangong-1 terminated its data service.’ The agency added, ‘The functions of the space laboratory and target orbiter have been disabled after an extended service period of about two and a half years.’
Now, this space station is planned to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, somewhere around 43° North and 43° South. Due to the size of the module, experts can expect that some debris will survive atmospheric re-entry, ‘falling out of the sky’ over populated areas such as the North of Spain, Turkey, China, USA or Argentina, south of Australia.
For the purists, the specific energy of an orbital object at 200km altitude is 34,000 times greater than a car traveling at 160km/h. Experts assume that between 70 and 90 percent of the object mass will not reach the ground, due to the enormous amount of its specific energy.
One of the questions experts ask is: how can we avoid a similar disaster in the near future?
Few options exist:
 Pollution spatiale, Christophe Bonnal, Belin, p70
 Low Earth Orbit: altitude between 200 kilometers and 1000 kilometers
 SPOOA: South Pacific Ocean Uninhabited Area (South 29° and60° and East 185° and 275°