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Huge Defunct Satellite to Plunge to Earth Soon, NASA Says..
Space.com ^ | Sept 8th, 2011

Posted on 09/08/2011 5:49:18 PM PDT by TaraP

Heads up! That's the word from NASA today (Sept. 7) given the impending re-entry of a 6.5-ton satellite through Earth's atmosphere.

The huge Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is expected to re-enter Earth's atmosphere in an uncontrolled fall in late September or early October. Much of the spacecraft is expected to burn up during re-entry, but some pieces are expected to make it intact to the ground, NASA officials said.

The U.S. space agency will be taking measures to inform the public about the pieces of the spacecraft that are expected to survive re-entry.

"It is too early to say exactly when UARS will re-enter and what geographic area may be affected, but NASA is watching the satellite closely and will keep you informed," NASA said in a statement released today (Sept. 7). [Worst Space Debris Events of All Time]

The satellite launched to Earth orbit in 1991 aboard NASA's space shuttle Discovery and was decommissioned on Dec. 14, 2005. It is 35 feet (10.7 meters) long and 15 feet (4.5 m) wide

Small risk to public

One analysis of re-entry survivability for UARS components was performed several years ago with a software program called Object Re-entry Survival Analysis Tool, or ORSAT for short.

That computer analysis showed that about 150 component types, including the parent body of the satellite, will demise during re-entry, and 12 types (26 counting multiple components) would endure the fiery fall to Earth.

That appraisal indicated a surviving mass of 1,170 pounds (532 kilograms) falling within a debris footprint length of some 500 miles (800 kilometers).

"The risk to public safety or property is extremely small, and safety is NASA's top priority," noted a NASA website dedicated to the re-entry. "Since the beginning of the Space Age in the late-1950s, there have been no confirmed reports of an injury resulting from re-entering space objects. Nor is there a record of significant property damage resulting from a satellite re-entry."

Nonetheless, there is a chance that pieces of debris from the satellite will crash in areas accessible to the public.

According to NASA, on UARS re-entry day, "if you find something you think may be a piece of UARS, do not touch it. Contact a local law enforcement official for assistance."

NASA will host a press conference on Friday (Sept. 9) to discuss the anticipated re-entry.

Public to be informed...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: nasa; orbit; satellite; spacejunk
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1 posted on 09/08/2011 5:49:20 PM PDT by TaraP
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To: All

2 posted on 09/08/2011 5:50:31 PM PDT by TaraP (An APPEASER is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last)
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To: TaraP

EBAY .. Here I come! 8)


3 posted on 09/08/2011 5:56:26 PM PDT by freejohn ("Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference." --- Mark Twain)
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To: TaraP
Small risk to public

Tell that to the guy it lands on.

4 posted on 09/08/2011 5:59:45 PM PDT by bgill (There, happy now?)
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To: TaraP
Small risk to public

Tell that to the guy it lands on.

5 posted on 09/08/2011 5:59:45 PM PDT by bgill (There, happy now?)
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To: TaraP
"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEJ9HrZq7Ro

6 posted on 09/08/2011 6:00:53 PM PDT by TChad
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To: bgill

I know!

I guess that is suppose to be comforting!

Like saying you might lose your fingers, but at least you will have your arm!


7 posted on 09/08/2011 6:01:45 PM PDT by TaraP (An APPEASER is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last)
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To: TaraP
For only $10, my insurance company, Kamikaze Casualty, will insure you against loss if the satellite hits you, your car or house.

Send your money now to Sam Shyster, Kamikaze Casualty Insurance. Box 56789, Del Rio, Texas..........

8 posted on 09/08/2011 6:03:21 PM PDT by MindBender26 (Forget AMEX. Remember your Glock 27: Never Leave Home Without It!)
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To: TaraP
I never worry about these things.

In fact, I often think about the positive things that a good-sized piece of space junk falling out of the sky might do, like maybe causing politicians to focus on that rather than us.

9 posted on 09/08/2011 6:04:59 PM PDT by elkfersupper (Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: TaraP

Does this a chance for free tacos?


10 posted on 09/08/2011 6:07:20 PM PDT by ThomasThomas ( Congressmen should wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers, so we can identify their corporate sponsors.)
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To: TChad
.... Like the widows and orphans in Olde London Towne,
who owe their large pensions to Werner Von Braun.

50 years later we remember the music of our “Bright College Days”

Bright College Days,
Sweet Days of Youth,
3 parts gin,
one part vermouth.

:)

11 posted on 09/08/2011 6:07:50 PM PDT by MindBender26 (Forget AMEX. Remember your Glock 27: Never Leave Home Without It!)
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To: TaraP
http://umpgal.gsfc.nasa.gov/

The satellite was launched in 1991 by the Space Shuttle Discovery. It is 35 feet long, 15 feet in diameter, weighs 13,000 pounds, and carries 10 instruments. UARS orbits at an altitude of 375 miles with an orbital inclination of 57 degrees. Designed to operate for three years, six of its ten instruments are still functioning. UARS measures ozone and chemical compounds found in the ozone layer which affect ozone chemistry and processes. UARS also measures winds and temperatures in the stratosphere as well as the energy input from the Sun. Together, these help define the role of the upper atmosphere in climate and climate variability.

12 posted on 09/08/2011 6:09:41 PM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: TaraP

- “if you find something you think may be a piece of UARS, do not touch it.”

Why? Space germs?


13 posted on 09/08/2011 6:11:21 PM PDT by Nonsense Unlimited
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To: MindBender26

Send your money now to Sam Shyster, Kamikaze Casualty Insurance. Box 56789, Del Rio, Texas..........


Uh, I need the ZIP Code

LOL


14 posted on 09/08/2011 6:18:37 PM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: TaraP

“One analysis of re-entry survivability for UARS components was performed several years ago with a software program called Object Re-entry Survival Analysis Tool, or ORSAT for short.”

Upload Windows 8 if you want to get it back to Earth even quicker...


15 posted on 09/08/2011 6:20:53 PM PDT by Beaten Valve
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To: TaraP
"According to NASA, on UARS re-entry day, 'if you find something you think may be a piece of UARS, do not touch it. Contact a local law enforcement official for assistance.'"

Hood ornament on a rat rod.


16 posted on 09/08/2011 6:32:32 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), Army NG, '89-' 96)
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To: MindBender26
50 years later we remember the music of our “Bright College Days”

Lehrer has some young fans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSAaiYKF0cs&feature=related

17 posted on 09/08/2011 6:35:18 PM PDT by TChad
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To: MindBender26

My insurance company, LowBid Guarantee, will only charge you $1 for a $10 million payout if a satellite hits you.

Of course, like any good insurance company, if anyone tries to collect it will immediately declare bankruptcy.


18 posted on 09/08/2011 6:42:00 PM PDT by seowulf ("If you write a whole line of zeroes, it's still---nothing"...Kira Alexandrovna Argounova)
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To: MindBender26

I’d prefer to send my payment to the branch office in Nigeria. You got that address handy?


19 posted on 09/08/2011 6:49:35 PM PDT by George from New England (escaped CT in 2006, now living north of Tampa)
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To: elkfersupper
In fact, I often think about the positive things that a good-sized piece of space junk falling out of the sky might do, like maybe causing politicians to focus on that rather than us. landing on a Planned Parenthood Clinic.

Fixed it.

20 posted on 09/08/2011 6:52:26 PM PDT by Petruchio (I Think . . . Therefor I FReep.)
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