Friday, September 23, 2011

Dead Satellite To Reenter As Early As 11 PM

A defunct NASA satellite skimmed toward a fiery reentry late Friday after the spacecraft pitched into a position that slowed its approach to the upper reaches of the atmosphere.

The 6.5-ton Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite dipped below an altitude of 95 miles, putting it on course for atmospheric reentry between 11 p.m. EST tonight and 3 a.m. Saturday.

During that time period, NASA officials say, the satellite will be passing over Canada, Africa and Australia, as well as vast areas of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.

NASA expects most of the satellite to burn up during atmospheric reentry. But 26 spacecraft components weighing a combined total of 1,200 pounds were expected to survive and strike Earth.

The risk to public safety is remote.

Odds of a single person, somewhere on the planet, being struck: 1 in 3,200.

1 comment:

Mark Lopa said...

Nobody was struck by Columbia debris, and that was over land and certainly more than 26 pieces.