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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 31 July, 2014

Nasa satellite falling back to earth this week

A Nasa satellite the size of a bus is expected to fall back to Earth on Friday – although scientists say they cannot predict where it will land.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

NASA HAS CONFIRMED that a dead satellite is to fall to Earth later this week – although scientists cannot say where it will land.

The 6.5-ton Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or Uars (measuring about the size of a bus) will shower debris as it re-enters the planet. Nasa scientists say that most of the pieces will be incinerated by the atmosphere, but have calculated that about 26 pieces will enter the Earth.

Scientists believe that Uars will fall to Earth on Friday.

The satellite completed its mission in 2005 and has been gradually losing altitude since then, Reuters reports.

The odds of it hitting someone anywhere on the planet are 1 in 3,200. The heaviest piece to hit the ground will be about 350 pounds but, Nasa has pointed out, no-one has ever been hit by falling space junk in the past.

It thought that the debris will most likely fall into the ocean or an uninhabited region, the Telegraph reports.

See updates on the Nasa website, here>
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/8775561/Nasa-satellite-to-fall-to-earth-on-Friday-showering-debris.html

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