Or someone let us know since my guess is if a piece lands on you, you might be indisposed.

A five tonne, 20-year-old satellite has fallen out of orbit and is expected to crash somewhere on Earth on or around 24 September, according to Nasa. Nasa says the risk to life from the UARS – Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite – is just 1 in 3,200.

Hurtling at 5m (8km) per second, it could land anywhere between 57 degrees north and 57 degrees south of the equator – most of the populated world. However, most of the satellite will break or burn up before reaching Earth.

Scientists have identified 26 separate pieces that could survive the fall through the earth’s atmosphere, and debris could rain across an area 400-500km (250-310 miles) wide.

Nasa said scientists would only be able to make more accurate predictions about where the satellite might land two hours before it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

If you dodge that, there’s still camera lenses falling from the sky in Petaluma. Too bad it didn’t happen outside the new TWIT studios when John was there. That would have made for an interesting show.




  1. foobar says:

    Completely off topic, but of interest to people here:

    Kurt Vonnegut ebooks from the Kindle store are on sale right now. I loaded up.

  2. Awake says:

    #2 – You are doing the math backwards. There is a 1 in 3200 chance that it will hit a single person at all, so for it to hit YOU specifically, there is a 1 in 6 billion times 3200 chance (1 in 19 trillion chance). And it’s Obama’s fault. Big government and their damn scientific satellites that keep falling out of the sky!

  3. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    #31 Telling others to focus while you prattle on about another socialist, as inconsistent as you, his books aren’t free.

    Draw gate down, lights flashing, but its foobar a train is coming.

  4. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    #32 If private business put it up, they would be able to take it down, lest they be sued.

  5. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    #32 When private enterprise creates a job, another taxpayer is born, who uses little or no government services and so lessens the deficit.

    When Government creates a job, a person leaves welfare etc, and now costs 10 fold more as pay with benefits are much greater…increasing the pressure to raise taxes and raising the budget deficit.

    And to add injury, the Government worker justifies their pay by regulating and otherwise hindering wealth/job creation in the private sector.

    That is why Calvin Coolidge/JFK/Reagan policies of less taxes and regulation lifted the economy out of recession, and FDR/Obama stopped wealth creation and downgraded the economy into the Greatest Recessions.

  6. Rich says:

    Oh yeah- we’ve all send JCD grumpy, cranky, happy, cheeky, but never really, really scared or freaked out. I’d tune in just to see that.

  7. MikeN says:

    #32, thanks for clearing that up. That seems an awfully low probability. This could happen 1600 times and we’d have a 50-50 chance of a person being hit?

  8. MikeN says:

    This massive change in precipitation is clearly due to global warming. I think Al Gore mentioned it in his Climate Reality Day video. How did this site miss that?

  9. Lynn says:

    Ha, back in the Skylab days, I had my first piece of writing published – I wrote a humorous peice for our local paper suggesting that we get residents of one of our smaller and more decrepit towns to wear magnets on their heads, so the town could get some reparation bucks from the government. Ka-ching!

    Backward, turn backward, o time in thy flight – sigh, memories of my youth.

  10. Lynn says:

    Humorous “piece”. Typo, sorry. I do know how to spell 🙂

  11. bobbo, Whats on Book TV this Weekend? says:

    Hey Lynn—why do you feel the need to correct your typos?

  12. foobar says:

    Hmmmm. I better burn those Mark Twain as well.

  13. Skeptic says:

    Re #40, Lynn, dont worry about you’re typos. Their everywhere on Dvorak. It used to bother me to, but after posting hear a while, Ive lerned to relax and just ignore all the other peoples misstakes. Half of theas guys dont no how to spell anyway.

  14. deowll says:

    Don’t worry. I’m sure the scrap metal dealers will find a use for it.

  15. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    On an international Boy Scout trip during the summer of ’79, the Japanese Scouts made good fun with their chant:

    Skylab
    Skylab
    ha ha ha

    Somehow, we refrained from retaliating with Little Boy jokes.

  16. Glenn E. says:

    I’ve got a hardhat, I’m gonna cover with tin foil, and put “NASA Go Home” across it, in large friendly letter.

  17. Glenn E. says:

    So a one in 3,200 chance, is slim odds. But a one in 10 million chance of winning the Lottery is…. great! Play to win. How does this make any sense? It’s like “Shark Week”, on the Discovery Channel. The odds of getting struck by lightning in the US, is way higher than being bitten by a shark. But there’s no “Lightning Week” on the Weather Channel. And no “Hippo Week”, on Animal Planet. Though the odds of being attacked by a hippo, are better, than being attacked by shark. So why this inverse law of concern, about the least likely thing to kill you. And near zero concern for what very probably will. Like smoking, drinking, drug abuse, a poor diet. Yeah. Let’s see a “Killer Food Week” on the Food Network. Not gonna happen.

  18. Glenn E. says:

    I’ve still got a piece of the Skylab, that survived its trip back to earth. It’s authentic, because I bought it at the Disney World gift shop. It’s encased in a Lucite pyramid and certified genuine. I would have sold it sooner. But when the space shuttles started crashing. I figured the Feds might get confused about what it was, and come to confiscate it. Then keep it for themselves, and say they lost it. Now that no more space shuttles will have a fiery death. And this latest reentry threat, has renewed interest. It might be time for me to unload this space collectible.


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