Cape Canaveral, Sep 24: The 20-year-old NASA satellite hits the earth on early Saturday, Sep 24, breaking up and possibly scattering debris in Canada. Twitter reports the debris fell over Okotoks, a town south of Calgary in western Canada, most likely the remains of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, which had been in orbit for 20 years.
The scientists believe the re-entry have occurred between 11:45 p.m. EDT on Friday and 12:45 a.m. EDT on Saturday (0345 to 0445 GMT Saturday). NASA assured the fact that since most of the planet covered in water and vast uninhabited deserts and other land directly beneath the satellite’s flight path, the chance that someone would be hit by falling debris was 1-in-3,200.
Most of the spacecraft burned up during the fiery plunge through the atmosphere, but about 26 individual pieces, weighing a total of about 1,100 pounds (500 kg) could have survived the incineration and landed somewhere on Earth.
The debris field spans about 500 miles (805 km), but exactly where it is located depends on when UARS descended. Stretching 35 feet (10.6 metres) long and 15 feet (4.5 metres) in diameter, UARS was among the largest spacecraft to plummet uncontrollably through the atmosphere, although it is a slim cousin to Nasa’s 75-tonnes skylab station, which crashed to Earth in 1979.