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Pike, director of the defense research group GlobalSecurity.org, estimated that the spacecraft weighs about 20,000 pounds and is the size of a small bus. He said the satellite would create 10 times less debris than the Columbia space shuttle crash in 2003.
The largest uncontrolled re-entry by a NASA spacecraft was Skylab, the 78-ton abandoned space station that fell from orbit in 1979. Its debris dropped harmlessly into the Indian Ocean and across a remote section of western Australia.
In 2000, NASA engineers successfully directed a safe de-orbit of the 17-ton Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, using rockets aboard the satellite to bring it down in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean.
In 2002, officials believe debris from a 7,000-pound science satellite smacked into the Earth's atmosphere and rained down over the Persian Gulf, a few thousand miles from where they first predicted it would plummet.
Originally posted by ZeroKnowledge
My question is why they ARE telling it to the public now.
If they could fix it - they would wait for shuttle mission and tell us
only if it fails.
If they can't fix it- why there is a month window for a crash?
It's not too complicated to calculate an orbit taken that you know where it was.
Also it must have some propulsion capability, they do not say that
something hit it, so why it left it's orbit in the first place?
Originally posted by V Kaminski
There will Be (beryllium) parts. Fumes from Be are toxic. If a hypergolic fuel tank survived re-entry (unlikely) they are filled with very nasty chemicals (like the shuttle's little thrusters). If it has a small nuclear battery? Or a large one? Also not great. I'd love to know what series of satellite it really is.
Could they be using this as cover for if the asteroid did impact? I know its a long shot but with all the cover ups these days anything seems possible.