'Tiangong-1' space lab comes down over South Pacific

China’s defunct ‘Tiangong-1’ space lab mostly broke up on re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere above the South Pacific, Chinese and U.S reports say.

Tiangong-1 was launched in 2011 to carry out docking and orbit experiments. It was part of China’s efforts to build a manned space station by 2022, but stopped working in March 2016.

Experts had struggled to predict exactly where the lab would make its re-entry.

The European Space Agency said in advance that ‘Tiangong-1’ would probably break up over water, which covers much of the Earth’s surface.

It stressed that the chances of anyone being hit by debris from the module were “10 million times smaller than the yearly chance of being hit by lightning”.