A Chinese space station called the Tiangong-1 or "Heavenly Palace" has increased its out-of-control descent towards Earth and is expected to come crashing down on Earth's surface within a few months. China's space agency has since notified the United Nations that it expects Tiangong-1 to come down between October 2017 and April 2018. It was visited by China's first woman astronaut, Liu Yang, in 2012.
Since then the station's orbit has been steadily decaying.
The space agency has already updated the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs on its demise, with the almost nine tonne space station expected to largely burn up in Earth's atmosphere.
"I expect it will come down a few months from now - late 2017 or early 2018".
China's equivalent of NASA, the China National Space Administration (CNSA), has informed the United Nations that the space station had begun its descent and would be carefully monitoring its final plunge. "Even a couple days before it re-enters we probably won't know better than six or seven hours, plus or minus, when it's going to come down", McDowell says, and knowing the time of the re-entry is necessary for calculating where the vessel will come down.
Speaking with The Guardian previous year, astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell said: "You really can't steer these things". He also said that a slight change in the atmosphere can change the course of the space station and make it land on a totally different continent altogether.
McDowell previously said: 'Not knowing when it's going to come down translates as not knowing where it's going to come down'.
You'll want to keep an eye out for a massive 8.5 tonne space station that is falling down to Earth. They broke up over Argentina, scattering debris over the town of Capitán Bermúdez.
Back in 2016, China confirmed that the station's future was out of its hands and that it would crash sometime this year or the next, but the estimate has been refined to between now and April 2018.