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Originally posted by TrueAmerican
reply to post by Trexter Ziam
Man, wtf, that thing is headed straight for me in NC...
Maybe I should go out side....
Originally posted by Illustronic
True American must have not read this thread.
There will be no seismographic signature, there will probably not even be a crater, most debris will land about 100 mph, as one poster said earlier in the thread, terminal velocity of the various debris ranges from 40 mph to about 220 mph with most falling in the middle of those two extremes. Very un-climactic.
Astronomer Dr Ian Griffin, from the UK Association of Science and Discovery Centres, says the Earth's atmosphere slows down falling satellites a great deal.
He explained that what remains of UARS will hit the ground relatively slowly and 'certainly not at orbital velocity of 17,500mph'.
Much of any satellite crashing to Earth will be disintegrated by heat, caused by friction with the atmosphere. It's the reason we get shooting stars - created by meteors burning up in the upper atmosphere. UARS is large enough, though, that up to half a ton will strike the ground. It will probably not be in one piece, however: space vehicles experience incredible stress on re-entry. The load can be as much as 10Gs. An F1 car experiences around 5Gs with maximum braking from high speed.
The reason why the location of the crash site is so hard to predict is because the density of the atmosphere varies so greatly higher up, producing different amounts of drag.
A prediction that was wrong by even a few minutes would mean the satellite landing a huge distance away, owing to its speed.
Sat, 24 Sep 2011 10:37:25 AM CDT
NASA’s decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24. The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite entered the atmosphere over the North Pacific Ocean, off the west coast of the United States. The precise re-entry time and location of any debris impacts are still being determined. NASA is not aware of any reports of injury or property damage.
This is your source for official information on the re-entry of UARS. All information posted here has been verified with a government agency or law enforcement.
NASA will conduct a media telecon at 2 p.m. ET to discuss the re-entry. The telecon will be streamed live at www.nasa.gov/newsaudio.