The Gods Must Be Crazy: Pieces Of Research Satellite Will Be Crashing To Earth Soon

September 9, 2011


Satellites: they don't last forever. "WHAT?!?!" Haha -- including you, moon! And when they've served their purpose they have a couple options, 1) smash into other satellites and cause an even greater mess to drive through on the way to Mars, or 2) try to reenter the atmosphere, then break into a bunch of pieces and take one last jab at the civilization that sent them up there to rot in the first place. The 20-year old Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite? It's coming down swinging.

Shortly before its 2005 decommissioning, UARS made one final engine burn designed to gradually lower its orbit, and after spiraling down for the last six years (and narrowly missing the ISS on the way), the satellite will be reentering the atmosphere. Like, soon. Probably.

...NASA is tracking UARS very closely, though, and they should know four or five days ahead of time about when it's going to come down. At that point, they should be able to estimate a 500 mile swath in which the 1,170 pounds (ish) of surviving debris will land. Right now, all they know is that it could be anywhere between 57 degrees north and 57 degrees south of the equator, which covers basically the entire populated planet with the exception of Scandinavia and Sibera.

Oh man, I hope I get hit with a piece. And by me I mean the person standing next to me. Then I will falsify my own report about getting hit with a piece of space-junk, sue NASA for like EIGHTY BILLION SPACE DOLLARS and finally be able to afford the cosmetic surgery I've always dreamed of. You hear that, God? FUGLY NO MORE!

Heads up: huge NASA spacecraft coming down somewhere, sometime [dvice]

Thanks to dunc, who claims he got hit with a piece of space-junk a couple years ago but can't prove it because it's embedded in his skull and doesn't have the money to afford surgery. Hey um, dunc? That's just from when I tried stapling a balloon to your head when you were drunk one night. Forgive me?

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