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Back to Earth Old Satellite to Make ‘Fiery Death Plunge’ NASA

Old Satellite to Make ‘Fiery Death Plunge’

A 20-year-old NASA satellite is expected to fall to Earth this week, with pieces of debris possibly hitting the planet’s surface. NASA projects that the reentry will happen on Friday, and that there is a 1-in-3,200 chance that parts of the satellite could hit a person. The bus-sized Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite weighs six and a half tons and was launched in 1991 aboard the space shuttle Discovery. NASA experts said it is likely to fall into the sea or a remote stretch of land, but that anyone who was able to see the reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere would get a “dazzling light show.”

September 19, 2011 9:47 AM