A guy I’ve worked with for more than a decade had a huge hand in one of the instruments on UARS – well, pretty much it is his baby. What is amazing is that the instrument worked for something like 14 years.
So, 20 years after going up, it’s being borne out (once again) that what comes up pretty much must come down. Assuming it doesn’t leave orbit, that is. UARS never left orbit and now is going to leave orbit in the “down” sense of the word. Towards Earth.
It’s a 6-1/2 ton ex-weather-satellite – the size of a bus – and it is coming down.
The scientist guys who are knowledgeable about this sort of thing got it wrong though. They were off by A WHOLE DAY. Everybody panic! Damn you, rocket scientists, damn you to HECK!
They say it has a 1 in 3200 chance of hitting someone. Before you freak, it is a 1 in 3200 chance of hitting one of the 7,000,000,000 people on the planet (1 in 16 trillion). So your odds are slimmer than getting struck by lightning at the exact same moment you win the lottery while having sex on the back of a rabid elephant with three legs.
I confess, the odds on the satellite are better. Lifetime odds are 1 in 10,000 with lightning. Rabid elephant over roughly that interval is 1 in 400,000. Odds of winning the lottery (Powerball) are 1 in 80,000,000. If you are married and have kids the odds of having sex anywhere… why it makes the whole thing vanishingly small. Put your money on being hit with burning chunks of satellite, people.
The spacecraft will break into pieces as it plummets through the atmosphere, but not all of it will burn up in the heat of re-entry. One analysis of the spacecraft suggests that of its total 6 1/2-ton bulk, only 1,170 pounds (532 kilograms) will survive when it reaches the ground. – Space.com
One little dig I want to make here:
NASA spokeswoman Beth Dickey confirmed with SPACE.com earlier today that the reason UARS is expected to fall early in its re-entry window is because of the sharp uptick in solar activity. Solar effects from the sun can create an extra drag on satellites in space because they can heat the Earth’s atmosphere, causing it to expand, agency officials have said. – Space.com
You mean, the sun can affect the atmosphere? Like, global warming and cooling? No… seriously?
Oh, for a good laugh, here was a person complaining about the very real space junk problem…
Child of Light (2 days ago)Now if I was a man that lived in outer space; I would confiscate this satellite;from the earths governments; Like taking a Know it all, arrogant, Child’s toy preventing Him from hurting others with it. Thus preventing grave amounts of potential deaths and injuries; telling these world Governments they are irresponsible; risking many lives.
I would also act like the arrogant USA GOVERNMENT STATING: We find Its not necessary for you the peoples of this Nation; to know what is going on; Who we are; where we are from; what we have; you are not professional; or Knowledgeable at these matters; As Obvious by this situation; you are Lieing to your self’s about your abilities at this time ; and you do not have the resources as we do to handle situations of such; nor are you spiritually mature concerning these matters; and all you Government people of this world combined are not strong enough; or advanced enough to address the situation properly; showing to have the ability to prevent peoples from dieing from these type of unforseen events that will continue to happen. I know this Might sound imposing but Believe me its for your own protection; we see things that ye need not see; and we be places ye need not be; so go on with your Fuzzy little soft life’s; We are the Galaxy defenders; We are the men in Black ! GALAXY defenders ! OH YA GIVE ME YOUR MONEY FOR DOING THIS STUFF FOR YOUR BEST INTEREST !
Someone is due to have their dosages adjusted, I see.