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A Long March 2F rocket carrying Tiangong-1 lifts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Photo: Lintao Zhang / Getty Images

Chinese space station Tiangong-1, will fall to Earth on April 1, later than expected, because of the weaker sun activity, Space.com reports.

What happened: Per Space.com, the sun's activity results in "charged particles" that hit Earth's atmosphere. The particles can increase gas density in space, which impacts the drag on the space station. Because the sun's activity has been weak, there have been fewer particles, and therefore weaker drag, which will make Tiangong-1 "descend more slowly than expected."

  • Jonathan McDowell, astrophysicist at Harvard University, told Live Science (sister site of Space.com) that "[f]ireballs are almost certain" as the space station falls, though he predicts "only 220 to 440 lbs...of debris" will hit Earth.
  • Per Space.com, Tiangong-1 "was the first Chinese space station."

Go deeper

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."

4 hours ago - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine over 90% effective in kids

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting children between the ages of 5 and 11 from symptomatic infections from the virus, according to a study posted online by the FDA Friday.

Why it matters: Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization to vaccinate children — one of the last groups of Americans still largely ineligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Changing the inflation conversation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Inflation looks like it’ll run hot for longer than plenty of smart people thought it would. The conversation over just how much more Americans will have to pay for their stuff has taken on a new intensity, as supply problems show few signs of fading.

Why it matters: The rate of price growth has remained consistently strong in recent months — a time that some thought would bring cooling prices after an initial reopening spike. What goes on with prices will influence the decisions made by Congress, the Biden Administration, and the Federal Reserve.