Tag Archives: tiangong1

Concept for ESA's future space debris surveillance system employing ground-based optical, radar and laser technology as well as in-orbit survey instruments. Credit: ESA/Alan Baker, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Tiangong-1 reentry: How ESA found out

Editor’s note: ESA’s Space Debris team have sent in a final update on the reentry of Tiangong-1. As we posted earlier, around once a year, ESA takes part in a joint tracking campaign run by the Inter...

Tiangong-1 Credit: Aerospace Corporation

Splashed down!

The US air force has confirmed the reentry of the Tiangong-1 spacecraft at about 02:16 CEST this morning over the southern Pacific Ocean. The location of the reentry was, by chance, not too far from the so-called...

Tiangong-1 seen at an altitude of about 161 km by the powerful TIRA research radar operated by the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques (FHR) near Bonn, Germany. Image acquired on the morning of 1 April 2018, during one of the craft's final orbits. Credit: Fraunhofer FHR
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Monitoring (almost) complete

With the reentry of Tiangong-1 now forecast to happen within a few hours, ESA's formal role in the tracking campaign is winding down.

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ESA reentry expertise

Every week, on average, a substantial, inert satellite drops into our atmosphere and burns up. Monitoring these reentries and warning European civil authorities has become routine work for ESA’s space debris experts. Each year, about 100 tonnes...