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Space Junk

Eric Peterson

Space Junk

CREATED Sep. 21, 2011

A dead N.A.S.A. is getting ready to make its way back to Earth, and you may want to watch out.  

Scientists estimate space debris from the craft could enter the atmosphere as early as Friday, and one path Is right over Northeast Wisconsin.

The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite is on its way down.

"It's a large satellite, about the size of a school bus," said Dr. Frank Six, a University Affairs Officer for N.A.S.A. at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL.

"It's about to come down because the drag in the upper atmosphere is bringing it down. The orbit will decay, and we can't tell exactly where it's going to land," said Six.

N.A.S.A. says the satellite loops the Earth every hour and a half, and late Wednesday evening, it will be on a path from Appleton, to Green Bay, to Sturgeon Bay.

"If it starts coming apart, then we'll have a better idea where the pieces are going to land," said Six.

So is Titletown on a crash-course with a falling satellite?

"It could be any of these spots. Then Madison would be earlier. That is something," said one woman on the street.

"It could kill somebody if it landed on them right?  I don't think that's a good thing," said another woman on the street.

"Most of the pieces will burn up. The massive ones may make it all the way to the ground level. The chances of hitting anyone, are really very slim," said Six.

Dr. Six says thousands of satellites are in orbit, and space junk is common, but getting hit, is not.

"There's almost any kind of a disaster you can imagine, that is more likely than having this happen," said Six.

 

 

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