(facts are good)
Source: UARS Orbit Data
That is because each rotation moves it a little farther along the earth.
That orbital track would be good IF the Earth didn’t rotate.
The UARS track also has FIVE instances where it will pas over the US. All of them occur early tomorrow morning. Since NASA says it’s coming down in the afternoon (they THINK), the orbital tracks will be mostly over the Pacific...BUT a couple of the afternoon tracks also take them over densely-populated parts of Europe.
I’d be willing to be some folks at NASA are finding religion right about now, PRAYING the thing doesn’t fall in Europe.
from the orbit map posted, it might just schwack Syria......
I'm not taking any chances. I'm going to have my umbrella with me all day.
Satellite orbits are more or less stationary with respect to the “fixed” stars, not the rotating earth. Between successive 90 minute orbits, the earth will rotate approximately 22.5 degrees of longitude to the east, meaning, that for a person on the earth, the satellite will appear about 22.5 degrees in longitude further to the west between orbits. Over time, that satellite will cover almost the entire earth.
Too much to hope it lands on Beijing?