News

State emergency officials closely watching Tiangong-1

Chinese space station is falling into Earth's atmosphere

Michigan is among the possible places debris from a Chinese space station falling to earth may land, causing governor Rick Snyder to activate the state emergency operations center. The re-entry of Tiangong-1, an almost 9-ton satellite the size of a school bus, will likely happen sometime on Sunday.

Christopher Bush, the assistant division commander of Michigan’s emergency management team says, he's watching this unique event very closely.

"It's definitely something that is out of the normal routine, but our job is to be prepared for all hazards."

He’s leading the effort to keep Michigan residents safe. The state’s emergency operations center is currently focused on this large Chinese space station, in fact, almost every screen in the room is consistently updating officials on its path. If the extremely small chance debris does fall onto Michigan soil, Bush says safety crews will be there to help.

"There's a very slim chance it's going to land in Michigan, but the fact that there is a chance we have to be prepared."

Experts say the falling space station should disintegrate on re-entry, but there's always a chance small debris may pass through, likely a fuel called hydrazine, a substance safety officials say is highly toxic and corrosive. Even so, Bush says this out-of-this-world threat should not affect your holiday weekend.

"I do want to encourage people to go about their normal activities, no need to wear a football helmet out in the front yard.”

The odds of anything hitting you from this event is almost impossible. One scientist said you'd have a better chance at winning the Powerball jackpot 1000 times before being impacted by debris, but if you do see any fall and land officials say call 911 immediately and stay at least 150 feet away.


More Stories

Meet the Team

Don't Miss

Latest News - Local