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Chinese space station to soon crash into Earth’s atmosphere, but will you see it?

MILWAUKEE -- Astronomers are saying that an object roughly the size of a school bus is about to come crashing to Earth -- and it is not a meteor.

The Chinese space station Tiangong-1 has been over our heads for roughly seven years, but soon, it will crash into Earth's atmosphere.

"Launched in 2011, and it was mostly proof of concept -- meant to prove that they could have a manned station in orbit," said Alison Klesman of Astronomy Magazine.

The Tiangong-1 project was meant to show the Chinese could, in fact, launch a space station.

Alison Klesman of Astronomy Magazine

"The original intention was to control its descent, but I believe sometime mid-last year, it actually stopped responding. They stopped getting telemetry from it," Klesman said.

Should people living in Wisconsin be worried about it crashing on top of us?

"That ranges from about as north as the Milwaukee area, all the way down to as far south as southern South America," said Jacob Parks of Astronomy Magazine.

"I think it's something like a one in one trillion chance that this is going to hit you, so it's pretty small. You have a better chance of hitting the lottery," Klesman said.

Jacob Parks of Astronomy Magazine

The Tiangong-1 is expected to crash into Earth's atmosphere around April 1. While it is not exactly clear where the space station will land, astronomers say seeing it will be an out-of-this-world experience.

"If it happens to be falling in an area where you'll be able to see it, then it should be pretty obvious if you're looking up at the night sky," Parks said.

This is not the first time a space lab has come crashing back to Earth. Back in 1979, NASA's Skylab actually crashed in Australia. As a light-hearted joke, the locals there fined NASA some $400 for littering -- which the space agency reportedly never paid.