Nasa's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is expected to re-enter Earth's atmosphere today, six years after it finished functioning. While the satellite will break up and burn off as it re-enters the atmosphere, many pieces will make it to the earth's surface.
Nasa say the risk to public safety is extremely slim, saying that objects have been re-entering since the space race began in the 1950s, with no confirmed injuries reported.
The satellite is expected to come down to earth this evening. The location cannot yet be confirmed, though it will not be passing over the United States at the time.
ABC News reports that The Aerospace Corporation, a private business that is tracking UARS, says it will more than likely land off the coast of Chile at approximately 6:06 p.m. EST.
26 components make up the satellite. Nicholas Johnson, their chief orbiting scientist, told ABC "These 26 components, which we anticipate will survive all the way down, will be going at a moderate velocity of tens to hundreds of miles an hour," he said. "All these 26 have been identified as potentially causing damage if they hit a structure or a person, but the odds of that are very, very, low."
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