China shuts down its first space station

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Though still in orbit, China has turned off Tiangong-1, its first space station, launched in 2011 and since visited by three manned crews.

The news story, from the state-run Chinese news organization, notes that the module’s orbit will slowly decay and eventually burn up in the atmosphere. It does not say how the Chinese intend to control that re-entry, since Tiangong-1 is likely large enough for some parts of it to survive and hit the ground.

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