Last updated on September 20th, 2011
A three-quarters of a billion dollar satellite will be falling out of the sky within a day either way of September 23, and may very likely fall across a 500 mile swath of the United States or another populous region. You may want to keep an eye looking upward…
A huge satellite weighing 13,000 pounds, named UARS (Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite), the size of a bus, will break up into dozens of chunks weighing up to 350 pounds each which are expected to survive the burn-up through the Earth’s atmosphere and plummet to the surface. NASA admits there is a 1 in 3,200 chance of debris actually hitting a person.
The satellite was commissioned in 1991 to study and measure ozone in the atmosphere, and was decommissioned in 2005.
NASA indicates that they have no way of knowing exactly where the debris will fall, other than somewhere on the orbital track which brings it nearly over the north pole across the US, and down to South America (and over again).
I suspect that in the years to come we will be hearing (or seeing) more falling debris from the sky as the satellites of our generation begin to reach their EOL (end-of-life).
(not much ‘preparedness’ here – just thought it was interesting and worthy of risk-awareness)
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