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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 JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Saturday September 24, 2011 @09:37AM (#37501308) Homepage
    It seems that Canada is a falling satellite magnet. In 1977, a Soviet satellite fell in Canada also- [].although that one was probably much worse in terms of damage because Kosmos 954 had a nuclear reactor and some of that debris was radioactive. The only other really major fall where something fell on land was Skylab which fell over Australia. So Canada has managed to get 2/3 major falls that have hit land. That's pretty impressive. I think that Canada and the US are both members of the Space Liability Convention, which has provisions for fallen satellites, so if there's any actual damage from this, the US will need to pay Canada.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito