Half a ton of debris spacecraft will fall somewhere on Earth, around Friday.
It measures 11 meters long, weighs nearly 6 tons, cost 536 million euros and about to fall to Earth in pieces around Friday … It is the American satellite UARS (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite) launched by the shuttle Discovery in 1991. Its mission to study Earth’s atmosphere and monitoring the ozone layer was completed in 2005, the Aura satellite has taken over.
Since then, his fate – like that of all the devices of this type – is to return to Earth within a maximum of 25 years. Remains that, as announced by NASA on Friday, the UARS satellite will not be fully disintegrated when it entered the atmosphere … “During the descent of the vehicle, most materials are consumed by the heating that occurs, but some, such as steel or titanium, resist,” said Fernand Alby, the National Center for Special Studies. Also, NASA scientists estimate that about 500 pounds of debris from the UARS satellite crashing to the surface of our planet in the coming days.
But the precise time of the collision is hard to predict. “We used to say that the accuracy of the date of fallout is about 10%. This means that roughly 10 days we can predict the day of impact, and that 10 hours of it this, we can determine the time, “said Fernand Alby. As for the trajectory of the debris, it is virtually unpredictable. “All we can say is that they fall into an area between 57 degrees north latitude and 57 degrees south latitude, or on a line going around the Earth,” said Fernand Alby. Impossible in these circumstances to consider any evacuation of areas of impact …
“So far, no casualties nor any damage due to falling debris of this type have been reported, and this, while at least one satellite or a rocket stage falls to Earth each week,” moderates the science. NASA estimates that approximately 1 in 3200 probability that the remains of UARS to make a human victim. The risk is low, but nonetheless real. The more anxious then carefully scrutinize the sky Friday, but no need to go treasure hunting. All parts of the satellite will remain the exclusive property of the U.S. government. It will be impossible to sell.