Tiangong-1, the chinese space station, with the name that indicate literally “Sky’s temple”, is been launched in orbit the 29th September of 2011. It was programmed to be a laboratory and a dock for the Shenzhou ships. In the first two years of life of the Tiangong-1, the station saw taking place three missions: the Shenzhou 8, without a human crew, and the next two, Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10, with human crew on board, which lived in the station respectively for 13 and 11 days. After that the station continued, even if it was uninhabited, to send informations about the initiated missions. At the end of March 2016, the China lost all the contact with the station, becoming impossible the controlled return of it and starting a way down toward the planet Earth, that left everyone breathlessly, especially in the last few days, before the return, fortunately without any damages to people or things, happened the night of the 2nd of April 2018, at the 2:16 italian hours, in the water of the Southern Pacific, between the isles Cook and Tahiti.
The fear in Italy
Because Italy was interested by the chinese station’s return’s orbit, this kept everyone breathlessly and with the eyes toward the sky, during the Easter’s weekend. For days, infact, is been repeated that the Tiangong-1 could fall down on the Southern central Italy. At the beginning the hypothetical return of the station was predicted for the Easter’s morning, but this overflown the italian sky without damages and continued its run, allowing though to slowly start to reduce the return’s lands. It is from the first hours of the Eastern morning, infact, that the return’s point started to shrink, until almost exclude the Italy, in the late evening of Sunday, leaving only the Mediterranean Sea, which still include the isle Lampedusa (in Italy) and Malta. Believing, finally, that the Italy was definitely out of danger only in the last hours of life of the satellite.
The italian aerospace agency showed to have the right numbers
Even though at the end Italy wasn’t any more interested about the return of the Sky’s Temple, the italian aerospace agency showed to have the right numbers to excel in this field. Really we already largely showed that we can excel in the aerospace field, thanks to great minds that worked with many aerospace agencies, like the american NASA. The return of the Tiangong-1, therefore, is been a kind of proof, that saw at work for the first time the SST (Space Surveillance and Tracking Support), the european space control’s agency, where Italy works with Germany, Spain and UK. To monitor all, infact, started to work the spanish radars and the radiotelescope by the National istitute of astrophysics of Bologna. The SST’s general proof can be considered passed with honors, the Tiangong’s uncontrolled return is, infact, nowadays, the one that was better monitored. Therefore, the informations made by the italian Cnr (Researches’ national centre) were found to be impeccable.
The web’s mockery
The web was really interested about the Tiangong’s return, and, maybe for good luck or maybe for dealing with the anxiety, the main social networks are full of jokes about it. Some said about the missed return of it in Italy: “Even the space debris suck us”, “Don’t worry it is Easter Monday, if the chinese space station fell down from Rome down to Sicily we will grill it too”, “Pieces of the chinese space station fell down on the Rome’s streets and restored the road surface”, and so on.
Finally the terrifing amazing return
The chinese space station’s return kept everyone with the eyes toward the sky, not only for the fear of a crash to the ground, but even to assist to an unmatched show. Italy couldn’t assist to the final show, but everyone that put the eyes to the sky during the night before Easter saw the ride of it in the italian skies. Tiangong-1 finally, ended its trip in the Southern Pacific, giving a show the more amazing the more terrifing, which fortunally didn’t make any damages.
This post is also available in: Italiano