Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




TECH SPACE
NASA searches for burned up satellite debris
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Sept 24, 2011


NASA officials scrambled Saturday to locate any remains of a bus-sized satellite -- the biggest piece of US space junk to plummet to earth in 30 years -- that disintegrated upon on re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

NASA has said there is only a "very remote" risk to the public from any of the fragments of the 6.3 tonne Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) that may have survived the journey back into the atmosphere.

The satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 pm Friday and 1:09 am Saturday (0323-0509 GMT Saturday), but the precise re-entry time and location "are not yet known with certainty," NASA said.

The tumbling motion of the satellite has made it difficult to narrow down where it landed, with the ocean considered likely and the exact number of pieces of debris it broke into is still unknown.

The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean, but the landing site was still not confirmed.

The 26 satellite fragments that NASA earlier said may survive re-entry could weigh anything from two to 350 pounds (1,158 kilograms). NASA said the debris field could span 500 miles (800 kilometers).

Canada, Africa and Australia had all been named as possible sites for touchdown of satellite debris.

On its Twitter feed, NASA said, "We're standing by for UARS location updates from the US Joint Space Operations Center. No reports of any damage or injury."

A media briefing was due at 2pm (1800 GMT).

Mark Matney, an orbital debris scientist at NASA, said earlier: "In the entire 50-plus year history of the space program, no person has ever been injured by a piece of re-entering space debris."

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a notice Thursday to pilots and flight crews, urging them to report any falling debris and take note of its position and time.

On Friday, Italy's civil protection agency warned that the probability of a crash in its northern territory had risen from 0.6 to 1.5 percent, and urged residents to stay indoors, on lower floors, preferably near load-bearing walls.

Orbital debris experts say space junk of this size from broken-down satellites and spent rockets tends to fall back to Earth about once a year, though this is the biggest NASA spacecraft to fall since the 85-ton Skylab crashed into western Australia in 1979.

The surviving chunks of the UARS -- launched in 1991 and decommissioned in 2005 -- could include titanium fuel tanks, beryllium housing and stainless steel batteries and wheel rims. The craft contains no fuel.

The US space agency has warned anyone who comes across what they believe may be UARS debris not to touch it but to contact authorities for assistance.

.


Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TECH SPACE
NASA bus-sized satellite to crash-land this week
Washington (AFP) Sept 21, 2011
What goes up must come down. But where? That's the big question when it comes to a 20-year-old NASA satellite the size of a tour bus which is careening toward Earth and set to crash-land later this week. The US Department of Defense and NASA are tracking the six-ton spacecraft, which poses a one-in-3,200 risk of hitting one of the seven billion people on the planet, the US space agency s ... read more


TECH SPACE
China to launch moon-landing probe around 2013

United Launch Alliance Launches GRAIL Spacecrafts To Moon

NASA launches twin spacecraft to study Moon's core

Second bid to launch NASA's Moon-bound spacecraft

TECH SPACE
Russia to resume deep space explorations with Phobos expedition

Opportunity Continues to Study Chester Lake Rock Outcrop

Young Clays on Mars Could Have Been Habitable Regions

Opportunity on verge of new discovery

TECH SPACE
Students Participate in Plant Investigation With Space Station Crew

NASA Completes Orion Spacecraft Parachute Testing In Arizona

NASA Posts Global Exploration Roadmap

NASA to fund 'space taxis'

TECH SPACE
Chang'e-2 sends data back from L2

Mythbusting for Tiangong

Tiangong-1 launch will pave way for China's first space station

China to launch unmanned space module by Sept 30

TECH SPACE
Private US capsule not to dock with ISS

Crew safely returns to Earth after crash

Russia postpones next manned launch to ISS

Russia announces launch of 2 spacecraft in Oct-Nov

TECH SPACE
Sea Launch resumes operations after 2-year break

Ariane 5 marks fifth launch for 2011

Countdown to first Soyuz launch at Kourou under way

Ariane rocket launches satellites after strike delay

TECH SPACE
From the Comfort of Home, Web Users May Have Found New Planets

Rocky Planets Could Have Been Born as Gas Giants

How Common Are Earth-Moon Planetary Systems

From Star Wars to Science Fact: Tatooine-Like Planet Discovered

TECH SPACE
Lehigh University ceramics researchers shed light on metal embrittlement

ECIT researchers use liquid crystals to replace space motors

Samsung says 10 million Galaxy S II handsets sold

Apple argues iPad case in Australia tablet row




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement