AN out- of- control satellite plummeting to Earth at 28,968 KMPH could land almost anywhere on Friday evening, except for the US, NASA has warned.
The craft, which is the size of a bus, will break up on entering Earth’s atmosphere, flinging huge chunks of metal weighing up to 350lb (158 kg) across hundreds of miles.
NASA said it will only know two hours before impact where it will land — and even that prediction will only be accurate to the nearest 6,000 miles. It could be anywhere between the 57th parallel north, which crosses Britain at around Inverness, and the 57th parallel south, which passes just below of South America.
NASA orbital debris scientist Mark Matney said: “We know it is going to hit somewhere between 57 north and 57 south, which covers most of the inhabited world, unfortunately.” However, scientists have ruled out the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite striking North America. Its orbit has been altered by NASA deliberately to make it crash.
It is falling to Earth at five miles per second, faster than previously thought and experts say there is a one in 3,200 chance of someone being hit by the debris — more likely than getting a hole in one during a round of golf. The 35ft NASA craft, which weighs 6.5tonnes, was put into space in 1991 to monitor climate change, and ceased operations in 2005.
News Source: Daily Mail