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Update: NASA Satellite is falling faster than expected and will crash this week


September 19, 2011

The NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is now expected to crash on Friday 23 September (image by NASA)

The NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is now expected to crash on Friday 23 September (image by NASA)

NASA employees are now holding their breath as the 6.6 ton (6 tonne) out-of-control Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is falling faster than previously expected. Yesterday, NASA announced that the decommissioned satellite is most likely to crash into the earth's surface on Friday 23 September ... give or take a day.

UARS will come crashing back to Earth after it was placed into orbit almost twenty years ago. Although the spacecraft will break into pieces during re-entry, not all of it will burn up in the atmosphere beforehand. It is anticipated that 26 large fragments of the UARS satellite will actually fall to Earth, in a rain of debris altogether weighing about 1,170 pounds/532 kg (the largest weighing 300 pounds/150 kg). More information is available in our original article.

NASA has yet to release any further information about the predicted landing zones, but if it happens to fall close to a populated area, the viewing should be spectacular. Sky watchers have best chance of seeing the falling debris during dusk or dawn, and to the naked eye it should appear like a falling star.

You can follow updates on the falling UARS on the NASA website.

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema. All articles by Bridget Borgobello

Oh the irony - the people running the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite got all their calculations wrong about when the satellite is going to impact on the Upper Atmosphere.

At least we finally get a verified insight into how accurate their predictions turn out to be when put to the test :-)


A 150 Kg lump coming in at a pretty decent speed......

Ooooooooooooo - just think - a free burial about 20 meters in the ground, and all the grass for about 100 meters around will get a fine spray of fertiliser.


Mr Stiffy

Nasa website: \"If you find something you think may be a piece of UARS, do not touch it. Contact a local law enforcement official for assistance.\"

No way... that space-debris is going right on eBay! :)

Matt Rings

I\'m hoping for a titanium sphere right in the back yard. it would make a great auxiliary fuel tank for my truck.


I need some of the \"special parts\" from NASA to help finish building my antimatter containment device for my perpetual energy machine that will generate the 1.21 Gigawatts and then I can go back to the future. They haven\'t build Mr. Fusion as of yet so I\'ll have to pick that up once I get back to the future and GET MY HOVER CONVERSION DONE , LOL.

NASA can\'t get anything right !!!

Jim Andrews

A lump weighing 150Kg or 360 Lbs..... Travelling Verrrrrrrry fast. That is about the same weight as 5 or 6 bags of cement. Make that 5 or 6 bags of rock hard set cement. Oooooooooooooooooooooooooo that is going to - no actually you won't feel a thing. It will be travelling so fast you won't even hear it coming.

Mr Stiffy

I\'ve got my catcher\'s mitt ready and waiting....


So, I wonder what the chances really are for some of that space junk to actually kill someone? As we get closer to it\'s predicted landing area, I\'m sure that the odds of that happening go up, especially if crowds start edging in to get a close look! The odds makers will be plenty busy!

Will, the tink

As written above... NASA has yet to release any further information about the predicted landing zones, but if it happens to fall close to a populated area, the viewing should be spectacular.

Wow! So glad that make this out to be such an awesome thing. Yeah! It would be wonderful to see one of my poor neighbors clobbered by a piece of space debri or get myself killed trying to see the crap raining down on the earth (yes, this is sarcasm). If they are trying to relieve people, I don\'t think this is gonna work.

Stephanie Clark

I am reminded of the opening sequence in \"Dead Like Me\".

Charles Bosse

Heard on the news tonight that the impact area is expected to be somewhere between Argentina and Newfoundland.

That is... quite a large area of doubt and uncertainty, pretty rigidly defined. ;)

Gregg Eshelman

We should have a lottery, and if anyone is so unlucky as to be killed, we should make their family kings, as long as they always rant online about nasa, and raise their kids to do so as well. I always thought it was better to first solve societies structural but unnecessary problems, and then work with a far more enabled international cityzenship, to pursue goals not financed on the backs of enslaved populations, and on a planet on which only a tiny percentage of the worlds citizens are successfully encouraged to think critically and creatively past the eight of sixteen, before they start worrying about themselves and how to mitigate the effects of actually living in a nuclear radioactive planetary situation. I\'m sure i\'m extraordinarily far from being the only one. Shit, i hate military expenditures a thousand times more, but would any of you be able to read me yet, if it weren\'t for military expenditures on research and development? Catch deucey deuce.

Robert Graham

So what\'s going on with this one? When is it falling already and where?

Kirill Belousov
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