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#416942 - 09/23/11 08:33 PM Chicken Little and the UARS Tonight?
elbert Offline
NASA‘s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is headed towards Earth. But don’t fear, it’s still unlikely anyone will be hit.
The space agency now says the U.S. is back as a possible “landing site” for the satellite. As it gets closer to impact, NASA now says the 6.5-ton behemoth will fall to earth sometime Friday or Saturday ET.
“The satellite orientation or configuration apparently has changed, and that is now slowing its descent,” NASA says, explaining why the space agency’s prediction the satellite would fall to Earth Wednesday has been revised, and why the U.S. is now back in the running as a possible, albeit unlikely target.
The agency still can’t pinpoint exactly when the spacecraft will reenter the atmosphere, writing on its website, “It is still too early to predict the time and location of re-entry with any certainty, but predictions will become more refined in the next 12 to 18 hours.”
Should we be afraid? In a word, no. Even though NASA says about a half a ton’s worth of spacecraft pieces — that’s about 26 hunks of space junk — will fall to earth, it says most (if not all) of the debris will probably land in an ocean. If you want to know the odds of your own survival, Orbital Debris and Meteoroid Consultant Don Kessler calculated the chances of any one person being hit by any of that debris is less than one in 10 trillion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5laK2JopaVE&feature=share
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#416945 - 09/23/11 08:51 PM Re: Chicken Little and the UARS Tonight? [Re: elbert]
elbert Offline
Update #10
Fri, 23 Sep 2011 08:45:08 AM GMT-0600

As of 10:30 a.m. EDT on Sept. 23, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 100 miles by 105 miles (160 km by 170 km). Re-entry is expected late Friday, Sept. 23, or early Saturday, Sept. 24, Eastern Daylight Time. Solar activity is no longer the major factor in the satellite’s rate of descent. The satellite’s orientation or configuration apparently has changed, and that is now slowing its descent. There is a low probability any debris that survives re-entry will land in the United States, but the possibility cannot be discounted because of this changing rate of descent. It is still too early to predict the time and location of re-entry with any certainty, but predictions will become more refined in the next 12 to 18 hours.
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#416948 - 09/23/11 09:46 PM Re: Chicken Little and the UARS Tonight? [Re: elbert]
Diane Campbell Offline
Funny, I wrote a novel about 15 years ago.
The story was about a piece of US space junk hurtling to earth (on a Friday). The heroes who solved the problem and the idiots who caused it are pretty colorful. I might just dust off the manuscript and share it.

The fact that the officials keep talking about how it won't land on the US (but who the heck cares about anyplace else) is pretty nauseating.

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#416949 - 09/23/11 10:13 PM Re: Chicken Little and the UARS Tonight? [Re: elbert]
champion Offline
It would be quite ironic for it to land onto the Kennedy space center.
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#416958 - 09/23/11 11:20 PM Re: Chicken Little and the UARS Tonight? [Re: champion]
SP Daily Offline
Or the White House lawn....

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#416960 - 09/23/11 11:25 PM Re: Chicken Little and the UARS Tonight? [Re: SP Daily]
Ernie B Offline
mad
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#416961 - 09/23/11 11:27 PM Re: Chicken Little and the UARS Tonight? [Re: Diane Campbell]
elbert Offline
[quote=Diane Campbell]Funny, I wrote a novel about 15 years ago. The story was about a piece of US space junk hurtling to earth (on a Friday). The heroes who solved the problem and the idiots who caused it are pretty colorful. I might just dust off the manuscript and share it. The fact that the officials keep talking about how it won't land on the US (but who the heck cares about anyplace else) is pretty nauseating. [/quote] I think that has changed and it is expected to land in the US and tonight!
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#416963 - 09/23/11 11:49 PM Re: Chicken Little and the UARS Tonight? [Re: elbert]
Diane Campbell Offline
and it's the size of a bus?!

I hope the insurance policies in the US read as well as those from RF&G in Belize ..... we're insured for impact from aircraft - I hope they are!

Is this anything like --- the ice caps won't melt and Lehman Brothers is too big to fail?

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Here is a part of the news article on the impact:

Because water covers 70% of the Earth's surface, NASA has said that most if not all of the surviving debris will land in water. Even if pieces strike dry land, there's very little risk any of it will hit people.

However, in an abundance of caution, the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday released an advisory warning pilots about the falling satellite, calling it a potential hazard.

"It is critical that all pilots/flight crew members report any observed falling space debris to the appropriate (air traffic control) facility and include position, altitude, time and direction of debris observed," the FAA statement said.

The FAA said warnings of this sort typically are sent out to pilots concerning specific hazards they may encounter during flights such as air shows, rocket launches, kites and inoperable radio navigational aids.

NASA says space debris the size of the satellite's components re-enters the atmosphere about once year. Harvard University astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell noted that the satellite is far from being the biggest space junk to come back.

"This is nothing like the old Skylab scare of the '70s, when you had a 70-ton space station crashing out of the sky. So, I agree with the folks in Houston. It's nothing to be worried about," McDowell said.

Pieces of Skylab came down in western Australia in 1979.

The only wild card McDowell sees is if somehow a chunk hits a populated area.

"If the thing happens to come down in a city, that would be bad. The chances of it causing extensive damage or injuring someone are much higher."

NASA said that once the debris hits the atmosphere 50 miles up, it will take only a matter of minutes before the surviving pieces hit the Earth.


Edited by Diane Campbell (09/23/11 11:56 PM)
Edit Reason: added some items

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#416976 - 09/24/11 01:47 AM Re: Chicken Little and the UARS Tonight? [Re: elbert]
Cayemen Offline
You can get the live position of the UARS here.
It just flew over Belize about one hour ago

http://www.n2yo.com/?s=21701


If it get below 60km, it will shine like a star ;-)
The next pass over Belize will be around 4:24 am tomorrow morning.
With decay of the orbit it could slow down the speed a little bit because the denser atmosphere. But it could we worth to watch it...
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#416990 - 09/24/11 12:41 PM Re: Chicken Little and the UARS Tonight? [Re: elbert]
elbert Offline
By NED POTTER (@NedPotterABC) , GINA SUNSERI and KEVIN DOLAK
Sept. 24, 2011
The abandoned 6-ton Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) satellite entered the earth's atmosphere early this morning but where it crashed remains unknown according to NASA.

In an update posted on NASA's website, the "decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24."

Officials said it entered the atmosphere somewhere over the Pacific Ocean but the "precise re-entry time and location are not yet known with certainty."
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