Saturday, September 24, 2011

As It Stands: NASA not sure where 6-ton satellite landed on earth

Scientists have been predicting where a spent 6-ton satellite (weighing an estimated 1,200 pounds upon re-entry) would land for weeks now.

 Looks like the whole pack of them were (and are) clueless as to the final destination. Nearly 24 hours after vague reports of impact “somewhere over the Pacific” NASA spokesman Steve Cole told the Associated Press “Officials really didn’t know for certain where the satellite hit.

Hold on there! That’s not okay. Since when do we lose track of a satellite as it enters our atmosphere? Was some NASA geek asleep at the switch during the critical re-entry?

More likely, NASA loses track of them all the time (see chart above via source) and it’s pure luck no one has been killed by one yet. Or have they? If you’re aware of people who have been killed by space debris please feel free to share on the comment section at the end of this post.

Because there hasn’t been any reports of injuries yet from this one, officials have been downplaying the importance of losing track of it. There’s been unconfirmed reports of it’s path and from the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite over Alberta, Canada.

As It Stands, the bottom line – it’s only a matter of time before space debris makes more than a splash in the ocean and causalities are suffered by the unwanted return of our own technology.

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