Sep 24, 2011

NASA’s Satellite Crashes In the Pacific Ocean

The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite that has been befuddling NASA scientists with its unpredictable reentry path has finally fallen back to Earth. We... just don't know where yet exactly. But you're safe to look up now.

According to NASA, the satellite penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean between 11:23 p.m. and 1:09 a.m. last night, making it likely that it's floating out in open water somewhere. As expected, most of the 20-year-old, 12,500 pound satellite probably burned up upon reentry. It's a wonderful the send off, too. The UARS was launched in September 1991 as part of a mission with the just-decommissioned Space Shuttle Discovery. It measured ozone and chemical levels in our atmosphere until 2005, when the Bush administration pulled the plug on it.

And now it's home. It must have been quite the light show. The Christian Science Monitor reports that debris fell over Okotoks, Canada late last night. No one was hurt. Also, people from Maui all the way out to Florida report having seen the metal debris burn up in the night sky.


YeamieWaffles said...

Good to know nobody was hurt. Like you said we can all breathe a sigh of relief now!

Al Penwasser said...

Damn! And here I went and bought a helmet.

To Tipota said...

I heard that italians were advised to stay home at the lowest floors last night :P It was an exciting friday. Insurance companies should update the cause of accidents in order for the falling satellite debris to be included :) RIP UARS

Funny Pets said...

lol. my mom was afraid it would land on us!