China’s Tiangong-1 space lab re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere around 8:15 p.m. ET Sunday, China’s Manned Space Agency said.
The space junk fell into the middle of the South Pacific, the space agency said. The 40-foot long Tiangong-1 is one of China’s highest profile space projects. The unmanned space lab was launched in September 2011 as a prototype for China’s ultimate space goal: a permanent space station that is expected to launch around 2022.
The Chinese government told the United Nations in May 2017 that its space lab had “ceased functioning” in March 2016, without saying exactly why.
In September 2016, China launched its second space lab, Tiangong-2.