As they say, what goes up, must come down. Round and round she goes, where she’ll hit, nobody knows.
NASA space junk experts have refined the forecast for the anticipated death plunge of a giant satellite, with the U.S. space agency now predicting the 6 1/2-ton climate probe will plummet to Earth around Sept. 23, a day earlier than previously reported.
The defunct bus-size spacecraft is NASA’s Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite (UARS), which launched in 1991 and was shut down in 2005 after completing its mission. The satellite was expected to fall to Earth sometime this year, with experts initially pegging a weeks-long window between late September and early October, then narrowing it to the last week of this month.
. . .
NASA expects at least 26 large pieces of the massive satellite to survive the scorching temperatures of re-entry and reach Earth’s surface. Titanium pieces and onboard tanks could be among that debris, but the UARS satellite carries no toxic propellant (NASA used up all the fuel in 2005).
The debris is expected to fall over a swath of Earth about 500 miles (804 kilometers) long, NASA officials said.
There is a 1-in-3,200 chance of satellite debris hitting a person on the ground, odds that NASA says are extremely remote. Outside experts agree.
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A 1 in 3,200 chance of a piece of debris hitting someone on the ground is extremely remote? Um, no, the chances of getting hit by lightening or winning the lottery are remote. 1 in 3,200 is like hey, don’t forget to duck.
/we have much larger satellites on orbit, let’s hope we never lose positive control of any of them, say as the result of a Chinese attack
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