Tag Archive | "satellite crash 2011"

Look Out Below!!!

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In all likelihood, September 23rd of this year will be like most days; that is, unless you happen to be unfortunate enough to be squashed by falling space debris.  Yes, proving once again that what goes up must come down, on that day NASA’s bus-sized Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite (UARS) launched in 1991 will fall out of Earth’s orbit and spray debris over a 500 mile path somewhere between the latitudes of northern Canada and southern South America.


With 26 large pieces and God only knows how many smaller pieces of the six and one-half ton satellite expected to survive the fiery re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, the possibility of debris crashing into your home or worse is real.  But don’t worry, NASA experts project that there is only a 1-in-3,200 chance of any debris striking a person on the ground.  And, about two hours before the strike, they will be able to predict the location with considerable accuracy – within 6,000 miles.  Of course, the odds of being struck by lightning in the U.S. in any given year are considerably more remote – 1-in-700,000.  And yet, approximately 70 people are struck by lightning in the U.S. each year.  We’ll just have to wait until Friday to see how many people, houses, or buildings are struck.


So, as we await the world’s end following the recent earthquake and hurricane experienced on the east coast of the U.S., we have one more thing to which to look forward – falling space debris!


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