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WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) - A disabled U.S. spy satellite is likely to break into small pieces when it falls to Earth within weeks, posing little danger to humans, U.S. government officials and space experts said on Monday.
Most, if any, debris that survives the intense heat of re-entry would likely fall into the oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the Earth, White House National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
But he said the U.S. government was monitoring the satellite's descent from orbit and examining different options to "mitigate any damage."
The U.S. military could potentially use a missile to destroy the minivan-sized satellite in space, but one senior U.S. defense official said that was unlikely for several reasons, including concern about creating space debris as China did when it shot down one of its satellites last year.