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Monday, October 17, 2011

Run! Another satellite is falling!

credit: EPA/Barbara Walton

Well, don't panic just yet.

It is true, however, that another satellite is out of control and exepcted to re-enter Earth's atmosphere on October 22nd or 23rd. This time it's the German satellite ROSAT, which was originally launched into space in 1990. This time, though, the scientists have less assurance about where and when it might come down.

ROSAT satellite, artist concept.
Credit: German Aerospace Center.

Scientists suspect that quite a bit of this object may survive the fall, so the debris might weigh as much as a ton and a half! They have calculated the odds of a person on Earth being struck by ROSAT debris as 1-in-2000. This is a significantly higher risk than we faced from the falling NASA satellite. Still, the odds that YOU are the one who will be hit are incredibly low. Still, better safe than sorry. Carry a camera with you this week and be ready to take pictures of any crash site, wreckage, or havoc. I'll be hiding safely in the Spacerubble Command Bunker, anxiously awaiting word of calamity. Or, I might just do something useful like plot the destruction of evil alien TellyTubbies (have you SEEN them?).

Warning: Do not take this seriously. While the facts in the article may be correct, there is no cause for alarm unless you are actually struck by debris. Remember that debris from the satellite will not be hot, it will cool by the time it may hit you, but it's the weight of some debris that might squish you tragically. The tone of this article is created for entertainment and in no way represents the opinion of anyone of note. If you are alarmed by the warning nature of this post, please calm down and stop watching the news, disaster movies, or listening to conspiracy theorists. If you ARE hit by debris, wow. Nice knowin' ya.

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