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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.
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.