NASA UARS Satellite Will Crash Into Earth This Month

NASA UARS Satellite Will Crash Into Earth This Month

Earlier this morning, NASA announced that the Upper Atmospher Research Satellite (UARS) will be falling out of orbit before the end of September. This mean an 13,000 lb. unmanned spacecraft, about the size of a school bus, will be crashing into the Earth soon. Seriously! This isn’t a joke.

Fortunately, NASA feels that most of UARS will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere, but some of it will survive and crash into the surface. NASA’s Nick Johnson was quoted as saying, “We looked at the hundreds of different components on UARS, and we believe that we know what’s going to survive. We just don’t know where… and we believe it’s going to be 26 different components that will hit the surface of the Earth somewhere, with a total mass a little over 500 kilograms.”

I’m glad NASA is so nonchalant about this event. I hope pieces of UARS don’t come crashing through the roof of anyone’s house. That’s a little scary, but NASA claims object this size fall to Earth about once per year. Since the Earth’s surface is mostly water, chances are it won’t hit a populated area.

In any case, UARS was in service from 1991 until 2005. I has been orbiting aimlessly since and it about to get pulled back to the surface. Evidently this happens a lot.

About the Author

avatar KALE: A geek who works in the IT Security field and lives in Dallas, TX. He is also a music geek who has played in several local bands. Previous to his IT career, Kale worked as a photojournalist. He brings technical advice and artistic counterpoint to the podcast.