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UARS crashed today

UARS probably crashed safely on the Pacific Ocean

NASA's abandoned 6-ton UARS Satellite probably crashed in the northern Pacific Ocean, NASA said today, though it conceded it did not know precisely where any remains may have come down. It said it did not believe anyone on the ground was injured.

 

"We don't know where the re-entry point exactly was. We don't exactly know where the debris field is," said Nicholas Johnson, NASA's chief scientist for orbital debris. He said there were "no credible" reports that anyone saw pieces of the satellite burning up in the atmosphere.

 

In a statement, NASA said, "Data indicates the satellite likely broke apart and landed in the Pacific Ocean far off the U.S. coast."

 

"This was not an easy re-entry to predict because of the natural forces acting on the satellite as its orbit decayed," said Johnson.

 

"Yes, you are safe to return to your regularly scheduled weekend activities," said a light-hearted post from NASA on Twitter.

 

On its final orbit, UARS (short for Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite) would have traveled on a northeasterly course that would have taken it close to Seattle and Calgary, Alberta, if it had gotten that far. But it was steadily descending into the upper layers of the atmosphere, where air resistance slowed it.

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