NASA Satellite Falls to Earth, But Debris Location Still a Mystery - National Geographic

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NASA said early Saturday that UARS fell out of orbit sometime between 11:23 p.m. and 1:09 a.m. ET.

Amateur satellite trackers in places such as San Antonio, Texas, and northern Minnesota reported catching glimpses of UARS as it made its final, doomed circles around Earth.

Though the spacecraft plummeted over the Pacific, it's still not clear exactly where debris from the satellite has landed. Pieces of the satellite will be strung along a debris "footprint" stretching 500 miles (800 kilometers).

So far there are "no reports of any damage or injury," NASA said via Twitter close to midday Saturday.

Satellite Pieces Not For Sale!

NASA warned the curious not to touch any pieces of the spacecraft that may have made it to the ground, because of the risk of sharp edges.

The space agency also tried to head off sales of UARS remnants on Internet auction sites such as eBay.

"Any pieces of UARS found are still the property of the country that made it," NASA warned via Twitter this morning. "You'll have to give 'em back to U.S."
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Comments (1)

fluffy (L4)
Sep 24, 2011
I could understand why NASA could not predict exactly when or where the disabled satellite would disintegrate or crash, but once it actually re-entered they really still have no clue? COME ON! The time frame of when they say it happened is enough for an entire orbit of the globe! The "updates" on NASA's web site were stale by hours. I'm flabbergasted that there was no real-time tracking of this thing! That no one was hurt was more dumb luck than rocket science, it seems. My opinion of NASA has plummeted right along with UARS.

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