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NASA Satellite Returns to Earth – Somewhere

Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (Getty Images)

NASA scientists say that dead satellite returned to earth overnight somewhere over the Pacific, but with a 500 mile area where it could have fallen they’re not sure exactly where it fell.  Most of it could have fallen into the ocean.  Some of it could have reached land.

Six and a half tons and about the size of a bus, the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite was launched 20 years ago and a few weeks ago it began to slip out of its orbit.  The only thing scientists did know is that it would fall back to earth sometime between Thursday and Saturday.  Parts of it burned up in the atmosphere, but NASA says some large pieces were sure to survive the plunge thru the atmosphere…some parts as large as 300 pounds. 

NASA says the reason they couldn’t predict where it would land is because it was tumbling out of control and there was no way they could predict where it would come down.  They also said its fiery plunge thru the atmosphere would be visible to the naked eye, even during the day.

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