Nasa searches for satellite debris

2011-09-24 19:02
Washington - Nasa officials scrambled on Saturday to locate any remains of a bus-sized satellite - the biggest piece of US space junk to plummet to earth in 30 years - that disintegrated upon on re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

Nasa has said there is only a "very remote" risk to the public from any of the fragments of the 6.3-ton Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) that may have survived the journey back into the atmosphere.

The satellite fell back to Earth between 23:23 on Friday and 01:09 on Saturday (03:23-05:09 GMT on Saturday), but the precise re-entry time and location "are not yet known with certainty", Nasa said.

The tumbling motion of the satellite has made it difficult to narrow down where it landed, with the ocean considered likely and the exact number of pieces of debris it broke into is still unknown.

The Joint Space Operations Centre at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean, but the landing site was still not confirmed.

The 26 satellite fragments that Nasa earlier said may survive re-entry could weigh anything up to 1 158kg. Nasa said the debris field could span 800km.

Canada, Africa and Australia had all been named as possible sites for touchdown of satellite debris.

On its Twitter feed, Nasa said, "We're standing by for UARS location updates from the US Joint Space Operations Centre. No reports of any damage or injury."
Read more on:    nasa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
14 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Petrol generators from R1399, save up to R350. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

This week only - 30% off books!

Get 30% off when you buy 2 or more books. Many titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

New range of Samsung smartphones!

Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and Alpha now available at kalahari.com. while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 eBooks & only pay for 2!

The cheapest of the 3 titles will be free. Many more titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are very people sensitive today and there is a tendency to put too much energy on service and outer obligations. The balance...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.