Saturday, September 24, 2011

NASA's dead satellite starts falling over Pacific


WASHINGTON : NASA has announced that its dead six-ton satellite fell to Earth early Saturday morning, starting its fiery death plunge somewhere over the vast Pacific Ocean. 

NASA still did not confirmed its precise location and time by saying that it can not predict it. U.S. Air Force's Joint Space Operations Center and NASA say that the bus-sized satellite first penetrated Earth's atmosphere somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. That doesn't necessarily mean it all fell into the sea.

NASA's calculations had predicted that the former climate research satellite would fall over a 500-mile swath. The two government agencies say the 35-foot satellite fell sometime between 11:23 p.m. EDT and 1:09 a.m. EDT. NASA said it didn't know the precise time or location yet. 

The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite is the biggest NASA spacecraft to crash back to Earth, uncontrolled, since the post-Apollo 75-ton Skylab space station and the more than 10-ton Pegasus 2 satellite, both in 1979. Russia's 135-ton Mir space station slammed through the atmosphere in 2001, but it was a controlled dive into the Pacific.

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