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NASA Satellite Falls Back To Earth; Landfall in Canada 62

CNET, among many other sources, reports that the declining orbit of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite has declined all the way; the satellite reentered and broke up in Earth's atmosphere last night, though the exact time, and thus location, of the reentry was unknown at the time. CNET quotes NASA's release, which says the satellite "fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23, and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24." The Christian Science Monitor has a newer story, which reports that at least some debris from the satellite hit land in Okotoks, Canada, with no injuries. NASA's Science Office page on the satellite (not yet updated to account for the deorbit) says the satellite was launched in 1991, with a planned operational life of three years.
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NASA Satellite Falls Back To Earth; Landfall in Canada

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  • by belthize ( 990217 ) on Saturday September 24, 2011 @10:34AM (#37501634)

    Maybe you should pass your real time updated upper atmosphere model on to them. The time from when the satellite hit the upper atmosphere to when it hits the ground is measured in minutes not many 10's of minutes or hours. With it tumbling and no longer transmitting there's no way to accurately state it's altitude even if you did have a real time upper atmosphere model. There's simply no way to inform people in real time because there's no way to know in real time. Even if you constantly updated it by the time the info was passed on that entry had occurred it would already be on the ground (or darn soon afterward).

  • Okotoks Video A Hoax (Score:4, Informative)

    by jaa101 ( 627731 ) on Saturday September 24, 2011 @11:27AM (#37501922)
    The Christian Science Monitor appears to have been taken in by the hoax posting of a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OfWgu5jk5g [youtube.com]) supposedly showing reentry near Okotoks. Looks like the video was posted too early to be legit. UARS is definitely down but nobody seems to know exactly where yet.

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