8.5 ton Chinese Space station will fall from orbit within the next 12 hours

Chinese space station Tiangong-1 should be crashing from orbit within the next 12 hours.

It is predicted to crash at 8:10 EDT plus or minus 2.5 hours. It is 11:13 AM EDT. So the crash is about 6.5 to 11.5 hours away.

Sent into orbit on September 30, 2011, Tiangong-1, or “Heavenly Palace 1,” is China’s first space lab, the prototype for China’s ambitious space program to launch a permanent, 20-ton space station in 2023. Tiangong-1 weighs 8.5 tons, measures 34 feet by 11 feet, and is the approximate size of a school bus.

Aerospace uses publicly available data from the United States Air Force in making its Tiangong-1 predictions. The military has a network of radar and optical telescopes, and publishes data at spacetrack.org. After Tiangong-1 enters Earth’s atmosphere, there may be a delay of a few hours to confirm it. That’s because Aerospace will wait for information from multiple sensors, in the case that Tiangong-1-‘s descent isn’t observed.