Agenzia Giornalistica
direttore Paolo Pagliaro

Space, Open Hunt to the Chinese Tiangong Satellite-1

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Space, Open Hunt to the Chinese Tiangong Satellite-1

For one year, the Tiangong-1 module, part of the Chinese space station project, has been declared out of control. This is a large size orbiting module with a width of 16 meters and a total mass of over 8 tonnes. Its return to the earth's atmosphere was initially planned for the second half of 2017, but it is now confirmed to occur in the first months of 2018. The scientific community's work is becoming increasingly fervent in order to be ready to identify its point of impact consisting of a possible rain of debris. What has been ascertained so far is that the parts that will survive the heat during re-entry into the atmosphere will impact the Earth's surface between the 43rd parallel north and the 43rd parallel south, an area that comprises a part of Italy, from Florence to the south. La Sapienza University is also at the forefront of this activity with the S5 Lab study group coordinated by Fabrizio Piergentili and Fabio Santoni from the departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Astronautics, and Electrical and Energy Engineering. For some time now its network of observatories for monitoring of orbiting detritus, studies the movements of the "Heavenly Palace" (this is the translation from Tiangong Chinese). The Sapienza Scientific Observatory Network (Sson) is made up of observatories managed directly by the university, located throughout Italy and Kenya, at the Broglio Space Centre, as well as by a series of observatories collaborating on particular scientific projects.


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