Saturday, September 24, 2011

UARS satellite vs. Earth: Earth 1, Satellite 0

Falling satellites may be big objects, but eventually they slam into an object missions of times larger, and a graceful orbital path becomes a tumble, then a fiery splat. Or splash. NASA's UARS, including an estimated 26 parts/pieces capable of surviving its disintegration on reentry, hit last night, mainly in the Pacific Ocean, but producing some reports of debris on the ground in Canada. No injuries or property damage have been reported.
NASA was originally uncertain of the impact points. NASA spokesman Stephen Cole said, “It could have fallen into the Pacific. It could have continued a little further into Canada. But we don’t have confirmation of that.” The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, plus some phone calls from Canada, eventually shed more light on the satellite's fate.

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