Chinese space station hurtling towards Earth set to re-enter atmosphere in the ...

China's defunct Tiangong 1 space station is hurtling towards Earth and expected to re-enter the atmosphere within the next few hours. 

The European Space Agency predicts Tiangong 1's re-entry will take place two hours either side of 2.07am BST on Monday (9.07pm on Sunday in New York and 11.07am on Monday in Sydney). 

Based on the space station's orbit, it will come back to Earth somewhere 43 degrees north and 43 degrees south, a range covering most of the United States, China, Africa, southern Europe, Australia and South America. Out of range are Russia, Canada and northern Europe. 

China's space authority said on Sunday that the station would hit speeds of nearly 17,000mph before disintegrating. They previously said its fiery disintegration would offer a 'splendid' show akin to a meteor shower. 

 Scroll down for video 

China's defunct Tiangong 1 space station is hurtling towards Earth and expected to re-enter the atmosphere within the next few hours. It is pictured in an undated radar image

China's defunct Tiangong 1 space station is hurtling towards Earth and expected to re-enter the atmosphere within the next few hours. It is pictured in an undated radar image

The chances of any one person being hit by debris are considered less than one in a trillion by the Aerospace Corporation. 

Only about 10 per cent of the bus-sized, 8.5-ton spacecraft will likely survive being burned up on re-entry, mainly its heavier components such as its engines. 

The station was due to appear as early as midday on Saturday but has slowed down due to changes in the weather conditions in space, according to the European Space Agency.

The agency said calmer space weather was now expected as a high-speed stream of solar particles did not cause an increase in the density of the upper atmosphere, as previously expected.

Such an increase in density would have pulled the spacecraft down sooner, it said.

The re-entry window remains 'highly variable', the ESA cautioned. There is similar uncertainty about where debris from the lab could land.

Tiangong-1 - or 'Heavenly Palace' - was placed in orbit in September 2011 and had been slated for a controlled re-entry, but it ceased functioning in March 2016 and space enthusiasts have been bracing for its fiery return since.

This is an artist's impression of the Tiangong 1 space station bursting into a series of fireballs at it re-enters the earth's atmosphere

This is an artist's impression of the Tiangong 1 space station bursting into a series of fireballs at it

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV Frank Stallone says he is sorry for attacking David Hogg in a series of profane ...
NEXT Dictator Kim Jong-un goes pop as Korean tensions thaw mogaznewsen