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Five Ton Satellite Will Crash To Earth Tomorrow


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So who do you hope it lands on?

I found it very hard to decide, the more I thought about the more people I came up with.

Can someone hurriedly arrange an MPC meeting inviting Sir Fred Goodwin, Sir James Crosby, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg, David Cameron, George Osborne, Grant Shapps, Ray Boulger and Richard Desmond as guests?

Hope I haven't missed out many.

Satellite to Fall in Biggest Space Crash Since ’79

A five-metric-ton dead research satellite will crash into Earth tomorrow, the largest such object to make an uncontrolled landing since 1979, NASA said.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the satellite, which has a 1-in-3,200 chance of injuring or killing a person on landing, won’t hit North America. It said it was too early to “predict the time and location of re-entry with any more certainty,” in a release today.

NASA expects 26 “potentially hazardous” objects from the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite to survive, with a total weight of 532 kilograms (1,172 pounds), spread over an area 500 miles long (804 kilometers). The rest will be destroyed as the satellite passes through the atmosphere.

The risk of injury is “vanishingly small,” said Steve Cole, a spokesman for NASA.

“The great majority burns up and never poses any harm,” he said in a telephone interview from Washington. The odds of it hitting any individual are “one in several trillion.”

Space objects of about 4 metric tons fall to Earth about once a year, said Cole. There have never been confirmed reports of serious injury.

The last time larger objects made uncontrolled crashes was 1979, when Skylab, a space station that weighed 75 metric tons, and Pegasus 2, a satellite that weighed 10.5 metric tons, came down, said Cole.

The Space Shuttle Discovery released UARS, the first to measure multiple chemicals in the atmosphere, including chlorine monoxide, which destroys ozone, and methane. Initially designed to operate for three years, it was decommissioned in December 2005, with six of its 10 instruments still functioning, after maneuvering into a lower orbit.


edit for Crosby.

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Non-reports say that bits of the satellite are more likely to crash into the sea than on land.

Duh... is that because the majority of Earth's surface is covered by water? :blink:

Other non-reports say that there's only a 1 in 3,000 chance anyone will be hit... What did they do? Divide the area occupied by 7 billion people by the land surface area of Earth to get the 3,000?

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Now there's an app for that!

SatelliteAR Android app now tracks falling UARS, helps you avoid being smooshed

You may have a better chance of winning the lottery or running into Captain Kirk at the mall, but when it comes to being impaled with pieces of the now defunct Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite as it plummets towards Earth, it's better to be safe than sorry.
The SatelliteAR Android app has added a temporary feature that gives stargazers the ability to monitor this space junk's trajectory to avoid impact when it re-enters the atmosphere sometime later today.
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CH4 had an animation of the 3 UK impact possibilities tonight.

Three stripes, one across the South East, and two around Scotland - but the best guess is a crash in the Indian Ocean at the moment.

Wot, no likelihood of hitting Wall Street, or some such "9/11" target?

Prof. Spiegelhalter was on the wireless this evening explaining the chance of getting hit was in the ballpark of the chance of 44 consecutive Heads in tossing a coin. Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern will die :blink:

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The South East track goes over at 10:04pm (in just over half an hour). It starts near the Isle of White and ends somewhere over the Norfolk coast - just from memory. London must be under it.

There seems to be conflicting information on this. Looking at the passes table on Heavens Above (http://www.heavens-above.com/PassSummary.aspx?satid=21701&lat=51.5&lng=-0&loc=Unspecified&alt=0&tz=GMT), gives pass times of 23:34 and 01:05, but the images on the orbit page from the same site (http://www.heavens-above.com/orbit.aspx?satid=21701&lat=51.5&lng=-0&loc=Unspecified&alt=0&tz=GMT) seem to support your 22:04.

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