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Gigantic Purple Slug

Returning Satellite

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8 hours ago

A one-tonne satellite is falling out of control and is likely to crash into the Earth sometime during the weekend, scientists have warned.

The Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer was launched in March 2009, to study changes in sea level, ocean circulation and the planet's gravitational field.

It has now run out of fuel and is spiralling back to Earth.

The European Space Agency says it cannot predict exactly where or when but that it is highly unlikely to cause any casualties.

Eh? The last time this was going to happen ?a US satellite two years ago? there were maps showing where it was going to be over during its last few hours so that people would know if they were clear for its next pass.

This is the first I've heard of this one, if it's not due anywhere near England I don't give a monkey's but I'd like to know either way. Where's Lembit Opik when you need him?

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Eh? The last time this was going to happen ?a US satellite two years ago? there were maps showing where it was going to be over during its last few hours so that people would know if they were clear for its next pass.

This is the first I've heard of this one, if it's not due anywhere near England I don't give a monkey's but I'd like to know either way. Where's Lembit Opik when you need him?

Phobos grunt was the last one I remember. It was heavy but most was fuel.

http://www.n2yo.com/satellite/?s=34602

This will pass close to the UK on its next orbit. Maybe it will pass over Cornwall but difficult to see from the map.

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All those computer models and PhD's and they can't predict 5h1t!

It's a bit like throwing a ball in the air on a windy day. You can say that it is more than probably going to come back down somewhere. Where exactly is harder to figure out.

Anyway, it makes life that bit more exciting. You may not win the lottery tonight, but you could be lucky enough to have your car destroyed by a falling piece of space junk.

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You would think they would know when these things are going to come down when they put them up there...

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It's a bit like throwing a ball in the air on a windy day. You can say that it is more than probably going to come back down somewhere. Where exactly is harder to figure out.

Anyway, it makes life that bit more exciting. You may not win the lottery tonight, but you could be lucky enough to have your car destroyed by a falling piece of space junk.

Insurance wise who'd pay? Does the cost fall on who owns the satellite?

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You would think they would know when these things are going to come down when they put them up there...

Can be pretty hard to predict, depending on the instrument. They all have some sort of fuel to exhaust, but the way the instruments are used could make a big difference to it's expected lifetime, as well as usual stuff like malfunctions etc. I know nothing about this particular one so couldn't comment.

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You would think they would know when these things are going to come down when they put them up there...

I wouldn't.

One of the things that affect where it will come down is the exact strength of the earth's magnetic field in various places.

And when they launched it, they did not know the exact strength of the earth's magnetic field in various places.

In fact, they launched it to measure the exact strength of the earth's magnetic field in various places. ;)

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I wouldn't.

One of the things that affect where it will come down is the exact strength of the earth's magnetic field in various places.

And when they launched it, they did not know the exact strength of the earth's magnetic field in various places.

In fact, they launched it to measure the exact strength of the earth's magnetic field in various places. ;)

The magnetic field is getting weaker. About half the strength of Roman times. It will "flip over" soon, by which I mean a few thousand years! :blink:

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Insurance wise who'd pay? Does the cost fall on who owns the satellite?

Good question. Would your own car or building/contents insurance cover your house or vehicle being obliterated by a man-made object falling from outer space? I've a feeling that it would probably come under one of the umpteen exclusions listed in the policy, and that your insurer would try to walk away. If it crashed in the same country as its owner, I suppose that taking the owner to court for negligence would be a possibility.

Continuing the morbid theme, do home and car owners' insurers pay up in the case of third-party property destroyed in a plane crash (e,g. Lockerbie or the Concorde), or do the victims have to pursue the airline(s) involved?

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Are there any grand pianos in space? Most of my ancestors have been killed by them! :blink:

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Are there any grand pianos in space? Most of my ancestors have been killed by them! :blink:

Silly question. If most of your ancestors have been killed by grand pianos in space, then by definition they must be up there.

Unless you have no ancestors and it was a trick question.

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Silly question. If most of your ancestors have been killed by grand pianos in space, then by definition they must be up there.

Unless you have no ancestors and it was a trick question.

Actually one of my friend's wife thinks I wasn't born, but I was "beamed here", from a time before Whelks!

I'm still worried about winching grand pianos about though! I fear the combined wrath of Rome, and Liberace! :blink:

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Are there any grand pianos in space? Most of my ancestors have been killed by them! :blink:

New Horizons has been described like this :

The spacecraft is comparable in size and general shape to a grand piano and has been compared to a piano glued to a cocktail bar-sized satellite dish.[60]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_horizons

Although I don't think there is much chance of it coming back down to earth.

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The magnetic field is getting weaker. About half the strength of Roman times. It will "flip over" soon, by which I mean a few thousand years! :blink:

What are the effects of a flipping magnetic field, other than compasses will work the other way round?

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What are the effects of a flipping magnetic field, other than compasses will work the other way round?

The earth will follow with it, with a rapid flip.

We will then have summer where winter is now, and Christmas dinner will be replaced by barbeques and lager, like in Australia.

Water will also go down the plughole in the opposite direction.

Apart from that, nothing.

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What are the effects of a flipping magnetic field, other than compasses will work the other way round?

TBH, I do not know! Science is "a one legged ox", said a philosopher, I can't name, because of security concerns! :blink:

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I do know that the downside of a weak magnetic field is that we'll all die *. So we have to hope for a quick flip and then the magnetic field rapidly re-establishes it self at full strength.

* The magentic field prevents the earth losing its atmosphere to the solar "wind". Mars' loss of a decent magnetic field when it cooled means that it was rapidly stripped of its atmosphere.

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I do know that the downside of a weak magnetic field is that we'll all die *. So we have to hope for a quick flip and then the magnetic field rapidly re-establishes it self at full strength.

* The magentic field prevents the earth losing its atmosphere to the solar "wind". Mars' loss of a decent magnetic field when it cooled means that it was rapidly stripped of its atmosphere.

.

It will be a thousand years or more! I'm not too worried about it! :blink:

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I do know that the downside of a weak magnetic field is that we'll all die *. So we have to hope for a quick flip and then the magnetic field rapidly re-establishes it self at full strength.

* The magentic field prevents the earth losing its atmosphere to the solar "wind". Mars' loss of a decent magnetic field when it cooled means that it was rapidly stripped of its atmosphere.

Oh, I forgot about the radiation shield.

Yes, you are right. I will revise my original opinion from "nothing" to "we will all die".

Or at least most of us will. It must have happened a few times in the past few million years, so some people must have survived it. I will buy an extra bottle of sun cream when I am next on holiday just in case.

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Oh, I forgot about the radiation shield.

Yes, you are right. I will revise my original opinion from "nothing" to "we will all die".

Or at least most of us will. It must have happened a few times in the past few million years, so some people must have survived it. I will buy an extra bottle of sun cream when I am next on holiday just in case.

We could compromise and say that the effect will fall somewhere between "nothing" and "we will all die" ;)

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I like it. As keyboard warriors both our honours are satisfied, and between those two points there is plenty of scope for further discussion.

Without the "power" of magnetism, whelks might get extremely large, and invade the land! :blink:

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