NASA issues reentry alert for September 23 for plunging satellite

September 18, 2011–  REENTRY ALERT: NASA reports that UARS, an atmospheric research satellite the size of a small bus, will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere on Sept. 23, plus or minus one day. Not all of the spectacularly-disintegrating spacecraft will burn up in the atmosphere; debris could be scattered along a ground track some 500 miles long. Because of the rapid evolution of UARS’s decaying orbit, the location of the debris zone is not yet known. A NASA risk assessment places the odds of a human casualty at 1:3200.Space Weather
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19 Responses to NASA issues reentry alert for September 23 for plunging satellite

  1. Paul Kunkel says:

    WOW!I hope I am not in it’s way!!


  2. What 1 @ 3200…. so if it falls over any populated areas… Watch out!


  3. adam says:

    1:3200 Sound like low odds but when compared to the lottery they are strikingly alarming….just saying.


    • Kim Hartley says:

      I just heard it’s due to crash over Australia somewhere…….. just my luck I’d have more chance of being hit by space junk than of winning the lottery lmao here…. hope I’m still laughing tomorrow lol


  4. Cozmicfool says:

    Alvin what is possibility that with the van Allen belts changing owing to fields weakening in some areas that this may affect our ability to repel these satellites in orbit?? Seems very odd NASA can calculate to slingshot a satellite tens of millions of miles away with pin point precision but had one of there own satellites get too close and pulled in.
    Prayers for those in India.


  5. that is really not that great of an odds srpead… but I figured it out. The real equation is 1/32000 divided by 7 billion.


  6. Well, if I hear a crash in my back yard, I’ll let you know. Maybe I could sell a piece of it on e-bay. (Just joking here.)



  7. mike says:

    im just getting mad we have to suffer AGAIN for there f+$#@ng trash!!!!


  8. Carol says:

    70% of the earth is ocean, 10% is desert, so that plays into the odds also… I’m not so sure about all this math, but I’m betting on it falling in the ocean or desert…Really pretty good odds if you think about it.


    • morgean23 says:

      IF we are literally talking about the space b/t Northern Canada and Southern South America (not sure if that was to be taken literally…but if so) the land mass is greater… I totally realize I may be way off base here, but just a thought I had.


  9. luisport says:

    L.A., west coast vulnerable to satellite debris next week

    As early as next Sunday, NASA should begin issuing statements on the whereabouts of a large disintegrating satellite that will plummet to earth. Not only is Los Angeles a potential target, but every major city and populated area between latitudes 57 north and 57 south will be vulnerable for a short time according to NASA.

    While most of the falling debris will likely disintegrate or fall into one or more of the world’s oceans, the size of the failed satellite is such that is poses a credible risk to vulnerable land masses and populated areas.
    (more at link)


  10. c/o Luisport

    09:12 22 SET 2011

    (AGI) Washington – It is highly likely to fall at sea but NASA says some debris of the 6 tonnes US satellite ‘Uars’ might fall on Italy as well. The US space agency says some of them should fall down on the 23rd of September around 22h. This is what comes out of the trajectory analysis drawn out by NASA. It shows that the Satellite usually flies over the Italian regions of Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Liguria. . .


  11. l brown says:



  12. c/o Luisport

    After UARS, a *second* dead satellite is headed earthward – and it has a greater risk of injury

    Full Story from New Scientist:

    Even if NASA’s 6-tonne UARS satellite does not cause any injury or damage when it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere today, there is more space junk headed our way next month. A defunct German space telescope called ROSAT is set to hit the planet at the end of October – and it even is more likely than UARS to cause injury or damage in populated areas.

    No one yet knows where UARS (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite) will fall to earth. Although most of the craft’s mass will be reduced to an incandescent plasma, some 532 kilograms of it in 26 pieces are forecast to survive – including a 150-kilogram instrument mounting.


  13. morgean23 says:

    Another good prediction 😉 (copied from Yahoo news at 1:14 am in morning EST:)

    “It just doesn’t want to come down,” said Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

    McDowell said the satellite’s delayed demise demonstrates how unreliable predictions can be. That said, “the best guess is that it will still splash in the ocean, just because there’s more ocean out there.”


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