Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Look! Up in the sky! Oh, crap! NASA satellite on crash course with Earth

Heads up, earthlings!
A NASA space satellite may be coming to your neighborhood very soon.

The "bus-sized" Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, according to a report by the International Business Times, is about to make a smashing return to Earth. Exactly where bits of the six-ton satellite will hit the planet is unknown. Exactly when is unclear, too, although Friday is the best guess.

"It's a hard calculation problem; we don't know the exact instant when it's going to come down, and it's moving really fast. It actually orbits the Earth every 90 minutes," said Steve White, a Fresno State physics professor.

The odds that someone, for apparently the first time in history, might get hit by the falling debris as it is scattered over a 500-mile radius? About one in 3,200.

NASA does have some advice if parts of the UARS end up in your yard:
"If you find something you think may be a piece of UARS, do not touch it. Contact a local law enforcement official for assistance."

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