There are reports that a Chinese space station (Tiangong-1) will be crashing down to earth and its debris might hit Malaysia. The report also added that the space station is out of control and it could hit several major cities including Kuala Lumpur.
Before you start panicking for a doomsday event, our National Space Agency (ANGKASA) has issued a statement on the probability of an impact in Malaysia.
According to ANGKASA Director General, Dr. Noordin Ahmad, it is very unlikely that the Tiangong-1 space station would crash in Malaysia. Based on calculations, the possible coverage area ranges from 43 degrees north to 43 degrees south which covers a massive area of 347,860,000 square kilometres. Apart from Malaysia, the path would also include Singapore, Australia, Florida in the United States and Beijing in China.
He added that the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur has an area size of 243.65 square kilometres and that calculates to a probability of 0.0000699%. If you take Malaysia as a whole, the possibility is only 0.09%.
Based on a note from the Chinese authorities to the UN, most of the components and structures from Tiangong-1 will be disintegrated as it enters the atmosphere. On top of that, the possibility of any leftover debris causing damage to aircraft and ground activities is very low. The re-entry is expected to take place between October 2017 to April 2018. The Chinese Space Agency will continue to monitor the space station and they have been posting regular updates on their website. You can read the official note dated 4 May 2017 here.
Below is the official statement from ANGKASA.
If you’re curious, you can track Tiangong-1 on this website. It’s currently moving at 7.72km/s.