Photo Credit: By NASA
A falling Chinese satellite is expected to re-enter Earth’s surface this weekend. Experts aren’t sure where it will land, but do think significantly large chunks are expected to hit…somewhere. What else do we know about this errant orbiter? I did a little research and here’s what I came up with:
* Clocked in at #23 on Maxim Magazine’s list of 2013’s Sexiest Satellites.
* Its official name? Tiangong-1, which roughly translates in English to “WATCH OUT, THERE’S A GIANT CHUNK OF METAL HURDLING RIGHT FOR YOU!-1.”
* Started its descent shortly after the Russian space station it was hooking up with asked, “So… what are we?”
* Tiangong-1 is China’s first prototype space station. They’re planning to build more once they really nail down the “evil operating system” you see in most movies about a space station with an operating system.
* Defense experts are still trying to determine whether it’s an errant satellite or just a really shitty bomb.
* Eerie bit of music trivia: an unused verse on the 1969 David Bowie hit Space Oddity may have predicted this. Here are the scrapped lyrics included on Bowie’s liner notes. You be the judge:
This is Ground Control to Major Tom
Watch out for that Chinese satellite
It’s floating in a ah-most ah-peculiar waaaa-aay
Actually floating isn’t quite the word for it….to-daaaaaay!
I’d saaaaaay…..it’s doing something closer to falling
Diiiiiii-rectly for the Eaaaaaarth
The satellite’s going to hit you, and there’s nothing you can do….
(guitar riff) OHHHHH….JINGA JANGA JONGA, BAP BAP
Somewhat odd Bowie’s lyrics included the sound of the guitar, but I’m just reporting the facts.
* In honor of Major League Baseball’s Opening Day, the Chinese government is giving $50 to anyone able to catch a piece of it in a baseball glove.
* According to the Washington Post: “The European Space Agency estimates that there are now more than 170 million pieces of space debris in circulation, though only 29,000 of those are larger than about four inches.” In a rebuttal, space debris added that four inches is actually the average size of space debris, and also that that amount is more than enough to satisfy a space woman.
* Experts are predicting it may hit Earth on April 1, most likely prompting at least a dozen people to say, “Very funny, Dave. Yeah, I’m SURE a piece of flaming space shrapnel is headed directly for me. I’m SURE that’s not some lame April Fools’ prank” while not turning around.