Friday, September 23, 2011
The Satellite known as Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is deployed by the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-48) in September 1991.
Now after 20 years, the defunct NASA satellite weighing a mamooth 7 tonnes is expected to fall back to Earth on Friday, 23rd September 2011, showering debris somewhere on the planet although scientists cannot predict exactly where.
UARS operated for 14 years, collecting measurements of ozone and other chemicals in the atmosphere. Since completing its mission in 2005, the satellite has been slowly losing altitude, tugged by Earth's gravity.
The 20-year-old UARS research satellite is expected to break into more than 100 pieces as it enters the atmosphere, most of it burning up. Twenty-six of the heaviest metal parts are expected to reach Earth.
Let us hope the satellite debris will hit the ocean, not on populated area on land.