Articles

Expertsii » technology » Dead Satellite Expected To Crash To Earth Friday 23 September

Dead Satellite Expected To Crash To Earth Friday 23 September

Dead satellite, UARS is expected to crash to Earth Friday 23 September, after reentry burns up some of the satellite.

Dead satellite, UARS is expected to crash to Earth Friday 23 September, after reentry burns up some of the satellite.

The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, UARS that NASA built, weighing almost 6.5 tons is heading towards Earth faster than originally expected, and pieces of it are expected to land on Friday 23 September. However, the chances of being hit by this are reported to be small, firstly because water covers so much of the Earth, secondly there are many sparsely populated areas, and thirdly, NASA has estimated the risk of any pieces hitting a person as about one in 3,200. If the number of people on the planet are taken into account, then that ratio then becomes about one in 7 billion.

NASA is still adjusting estimates of when and where it is likely to land, and have now said Friday afternoon, but not in North America, as by that time the satellite will not be over this continent. A lot of the estimating cannot be done accurately until the satellite has reentered the Earth’s atmosphere, when it will break apart into many pieces, some of which will burn up during reentry. In fact NASA are reporting that they are only expecting about 26 pieces of the satellite to return to Earth with an approximate weight of under 600 kilograms, and will be spread over a path of about 500 miles.

NASA will be tracking as much as possible, and say that if you happen to see some of the debris from the UARS, you should not touch it, but should contact law enforcement officials for assistance.

It was 1991 when the Space Shuttle Discovery launched the UARS, and from then until it was decommissioned in December 2005 it measured ozone and chemical compounds which were found in the ozone layer. It also measured energy input from the Sun as well as temperatures and wind speeds.

Posted by

Eric is an unashamed techno-geek (with an odd love of the outdoors) and one of the few people who can start a conversation in a roomful of similarly inclined techies and end up being the focal point for a crowd ... he also has the benefit of being able to speak and write in ways that are understandable to normal humans.

Filed under: technology · Tags: , , , , , , ,