But in 2016, China's space agency announced it had lost control of the station and its orbit began to decay.
China's dilapidated space station is falling back to earth and is expected to enter the atmosphere this weekend.
As always, they are couching this timeframe. However, this remains highly variable.
The website Heavens Above has a live tracker of where the satellite is above Earth at any given moment, and Space.com reports that it will likely be over the USA around dawn the days of this weekend. Tiangong means "heavenly place" but Logsdon says, "it's just one or more than a half a million pieces of space junk orbiting the Earth".
The ESA is now predicting a narrower window of tonight to late Sunday evening.
The space station has been slowing down and when it can't go fast enough to stay in orbit, it will reenter the earth's atmosphere.
"New date received overnight gave further confirmation that the forecast window is moving to later on 1 April".
"Christchurch is one of the southernmost cities within the range, and I don't think there is any possibility it could fall there". Scientists continue to tell people that there is a miniscule chance of being hit by debris from the space station. Its researchers have identified a band of "probable" re-entry points around the planet that include well-populated areas in California, Oregon, the Midwest, New York and New England.
Regions with higher chances of seeing debris include northern China, central Italy, northern Spain, the Middle East, New Zealand, Tasmania, South America, southern Africa and northern states in the USA, the ESA and US -funded Aerospace Corporation have said.
Advancing China's space program is a priority for President Xi Jinping, who has called for Beijing to become a global space power with both advanced civilian space flight and capabilities that strengthen national security.
China's first unmanned space module, blasted off on September 29, 2011.
It was created to be a manned lab, has two modules, including sleeping space for two astronauts, according to the Aerospace Corporation.
"And the still small steps we take, like the ISS and other space stations, are proof that this part of our evolution is occurring right now". The first was launched on June 16, 2012, with three astronauts, including China's first female astronaut.