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North America Not To Be Hit With NASA’s UARS Satellite Debris

September 22, 2011

The rest of the world needs to be mindful.

“Re-entry is expected sometime during the afternoon of Sept. 23, Eastern Daylight Time,” said NASA in an update this morning. “The satellite will not be passing over North America during that time period.”

Beyond that, nobody can yet predict where space debris will fall from orbit, but the agency said predictions will become “more refined” in the next 24 to 36 hours. It repeated that the risk to people or property is “extremely small.”

As of this morning, UARS had an altitude of about 115 miles, skimming the uppermost reaches of the atmosphere at more than 17,000 mph. At some point, a little like a stone skipping over a pond, it will encounter enough resistance that it will no longer be able to keep moving at orbital speeds.

One Comment
  1. Craig permalink
    October 25, 2011 12:45 PM

    Remember that satellite that recently was gonna drop a 300# chunk ….. somewhere – maybe Canada , maybe India , maybe Washington State …. but it was gonna fall “somewhere”? And, there was “only a 1/3200 chance” that it would injure somebody? Then, NASA announced that it had fallen to earth, but they didn’t know where? Well, here’s the straight skinny.


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