By the time you hear this week’s episode, China’s Tiangong-1 may have spectacularly re-entered our planet’s atmosphere, raining metal on an unpredictable location. The Aerospace Corporation’s Bill Ailor, an expert on space debris, tells us there’s little to worry about, but bigger challenges are ahead in low Earth orbit. Bruce Betts also has his mind on the small space station. Emily Lakdawalla is back from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference with much news to share. NASA finally has a budget for the year already underway! Casey Dreier breaks it down.
The Aerospace Corporation
Aerospace Fellow Bill Ailor enjoying a large piece of space debris displayed at the company’s Southern California campus.
Tiangong-1 space station
A rendering of the Tiangong-1 space lab (right) docked with the Shenzhou-8 uncrewed spacecraft.