(RNN) – A number of states are likely in the path of an out-of-control Chinese space station headed toward Earth.
Scientists are nervously watching the 19,000-pound Tiangong 1, which will likely make its way back to Earth around April 1, according to the Aerospace Corporation that is closely monitoring the situation.
Tiangong 1, which means Heavenly Palace in English, is likely to re-enter the Earth along one of two narrow stretches around 43 degrees north and 43 degrees south latitude. That means there is a higher probability of debris falling somewhere along a north-central stretch of the U.S. between California and New York.
But the odds of the craft hitting anyone is very low, as much of it will disintegrate when it hits the Earth's atmosphere.
“There is a chance that a small amount of Tiangong 1 debris may survive reentry and impact the ground,” said Aerospace Corporation in a release. “Should this happen, any surviving debris would fall within a region that is a few hundred kilometers in size and centered along a point on the Earth that the station passes over."
The agency warned against touching debris as it may contain a highly toxic and corrosive substance called hydrazine that could survive reentry.
The station was the first built and launched by China in 2011.
The Chinese made two missions to it before losing control in June 2016.
Sandra Bullock referenced the station in her 2013 movie, "Gravity."
“This is a space craft that’s big enough that at least some pieces will probably survive the reentry and hit the ground somewhere,” said Bill Hardwood of CBS Space News.
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