Sunday, September 25, 2011
NASA's 6-Ton UARS Satellite Falls To Earth
A school bus size NASA satellite plummeted back to Earth overnight, being torn apart as it reentered the atmosphere and fell over the Pacific Ocean, the space agency said.
Exactly when and where the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) fell, as well as the fate of any debris that may have made it all the way to the ground, was not yet known.
UARS "fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24," NASA wrote on its website. "The precise re-entry time and location are not yet known with certainty."
UARS, which was launched on space shuttle Discovery in September 1991, began its uncontrolled re-entry over the Pacific Ocean, according to the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. NASA orbital debris scientists and U.S. Strategic Command had been carefully tracking UARS for the past two weeks after it was clear that the satellite's fall was approaching.
Prior to its plunge, UARS path around the planet meant it could have scattered its debris almost anywhere over the world's most populated regions. With a 1 in 3,200 chance that someone could have been struct by a piece of UARS, the satellite's descent into the atmosphere drew worldwide attention.
Agensi Angkasa Negara hari ini menasihatkan orang ramai agar tidak menyentuh, mengambil atau menyimpan objek luar biasa yang ditemui kerana berkemungkinan ia serpihan satelit milik Pentadbiran Aeronautik dan Angkasa Lepas Kebangsaan (NASA).
Sebaliknya, agensi itu dalam satu kenyataan di sini meminta agar penemuan berkenaan dimaklumkan kepada mereka bagi tindakan lanjut.
Satelit seberat enam tan yang dilancar pada 1991 itu jatuh ke bumi antara lewat Jumaat dan awal Sabtu.
Satelit itu dilapor memasuki atmosfera bumi dan jatuh melepasi Lautan Pasifik dengan waktu dan lokasi sebenar belum diketahui dengan tepat.