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Posts Tagged ‘NASA satellite’

End of the world?

September 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Probably not, but a NASA satellite is about to come crashing down to earth:

The six-ton satellite circles the Earth on a tilted orbit, and as the planet turns each day, different locations pass underneath. The satellite’s orbit on Friday afternoon will not take it over any part of North America, but by Saturday, parts of the United States will again be in its path.  […]  At least 26 pieces, the largest 330 pounds, are expected to survive the plunge and land along a path 500 miles long.

Not to worry, as it’s happened before:

NASA satellites also receive considerably more attention when they come back to Earth than other debris of similar size. About one satellite five metric tons or larger re-enters the atmosphere every year.

For example, on a test flight of its Falcon 9 rocket in June 2010, the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation placed the second stage and a prototype capsule into orbit. That object, heavier than the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, came crashing back to Earth two and a half weeks later without causing a media ripple.

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