Its goal was to test docking technologies and other skills China needed to fine-tune before establishing a permanent space station, planned for the early 2020s.
China's out of control space station, the Tiangong-1, finally fell into the fiery grip of earth's atmosphere on Sunday night, reentering at approximately 8:16 p.m. EST somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.
The last space outpost to drop was Russia's 135-ton Mir station in 2001, which made a controlled landing with most parts breaking up in the atmosphere.
Tiangong-1 plummeted into the middle of the South Pacific, the space agency said. Speaking to Newsweek before the crash, he said that the Tiangong-1 reentering Earth's atmosphere was "not something we should be concerned about".
"It's not impossible, but since the beginning of the space age. a woman who was brushed on the shoulder in Oklahoma is the only one we're aware of who's been touched by a piece of space debris", Bill Ailor, an aerospace engineer with the Aerospace Corporation who specializes in atmospheric reentry, previously told Business Insider.
On March 2016, the Chinese National Space Administration announced they had lost all contact with the now defunct station, and, therefore, were unable to alter its orbit or control its reentry.
The fall of Tiangong-1 was monitored by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee, an worldwide group that included NASA, the ESA as well as the space agencies of 11 other nations.
The corporation, which provides technical support for the space industry, had not been in touch with the Chinese side about the re-entry, Thompson said. It was first launched in 2011, serving as both a manned laboratory and an experimental test bed to demonstrate orbital rendezvous and docking capabilities.
Tiangong 1, whose name translates as "Heavenly Palace", had two modules, one for its solar panels and engines, and one for a pair of astronauts to live in and conduct experiments.
China's first space station Tiangong-1 has descended from the heavens and burned up.
In mid-March of this year, it was evident that Tiangong-1 would return within a few weeks. It was occupied by two separate crews of three astronauts, or taikonauts, each - a mission in June 2012 included China's first female astronaut, Liu Yang.
And what goes into lower Earth orbit pretty much always comes down. It's likely that the drag would have quickly ripped off solar panels and antenna.