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A space bus was heading your way!


Launched in 2011, Tiangong 1 was China’s first space station, serving as an experimental platform for bigger projects.

The European Space Agency forecast that the bus-sized station, whose name translates as “Heavenly Palace,” would re-enter sometime this morning NZT. The Chinese space agency said it should happen during the course of today Beijing time.

Based on the space station’s orbit, it was supposed to come back to Earth somewhere 43 degrees north and 43 degrees south, a range covering most of the United States, China, Africa, southern Europe, Australia and South America. Out of range are Russia, Canada and northern Europe (so you guys are OK). The chances of any one being hit by debris were considered less than one in a trillion. So, by H3’s calculations, that excluded most of us! [Side Note: Lottie Williams is still the only person known to have been hit by falling space debris. She was struck, but not injured, by a falling piece of a US Delta II rocket while exercising in an Oklahoma park in 1997.]

Note: a trillion has 12 zeros – that is, 1,000,000,000,000! So, a trillion is a thousand times one billion (9 zeros). That’s a very large number! Check out this 9min video to get an idea of what these big numbers look like when using $US100 bills:

The “bus” pulled up near Tahiti – phew, that was close!

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NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]

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