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UARS Satellite Could Now Hit The U.S.

Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1784130
09/23/2011 01:21 PM
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UARS Satellite Could Now Hit The U.S.
NASA's UARS satellite, which was predicted to fall back to the earth this afternoon or evening and miss the U.S., has now slowed its descent and could hit the U.S. tomorrow according to a NASA orbital update which was released today.

As of 10:30 a.m. EDT on Sept. 23, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 100 miles by 105 miles (160 km by 170 km).

Re-entry is expected late Friday, Sept. 23, or early Saturday, Sept. 24, Eastern Daylight Time.

Solar activity is no longer the major factor in the satellite’s rate of descent. The re-entry of UARS had been advancing because of a sharp increase in solar activity the during last two weeks.

Increased solar activity heats up the earth's atmosphere, sending more atmospheric molecules further into space which causes additional drag on low orbital satellites.

The satellite’s orientation or configuration apparently has changed, and that is now slowing its descent, NASA reports.
[link to space.brevardtimes.com]