No one reported injured by falling satellite

No one has been reported injured by the satellite that fell to Earth in the early hours of this morning. The bad news? Another one's on the way.

It was a bit of excitement no one really needed for a Saturday morning. News broke last week a satellite was plummeting to earth, and NASA didn't know where it would land. The chances of it hitting anyone were remote -- 1 in 3,200, and the chances it'd be you were 1 in 22 trillion -- but still, it was a chance none of us would like to take.

The good news is no one has been reported hurt, and no property damaged, according to the BBC. The bad? There's another one on the way.

The satellite weighed 6 tonnes and was estimated to be the size of a double decker bus, though it'd break up into smaller pieces as it entered the atmosphere. About 500kg could survive the fall to Earth, which is still more than your umbrella could take.

It was thought to enter the Earth's atmosphere at about 5am UK time, but that's a rough estimate. A statement on NASA's website read: "The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force base in California tracked the movements of UARS through the satellite's final orbits and provided confirmation of re-entry... The precise re-entry time and location of debris impacts have not been determined."

Chances are it fell into the Pacific, but as yet unconfirmed reports on Twitter said some debris landed in western Canada.

So panic over. Until next month anyway. Because another satellite, the 2.4-tonne Röntgensatellit, or ROSAT, is expected to crash to Earth at the end of October. As much as 400kg could reach the surface, which is again enough to cause some severe damage. ROSAT has been spinning aimlessly through space for 12 years after it was switched off in 1999 after its guidance system broke. Honestly, you'd think these boffins would have better control of their satellites. It's not rocket science.

The chances of any part of ROSAT hitting anyone are again low, at 2,000 to 1. But still, keep watching the skies.

Image credit: Reuters

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    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.

     

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