Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

NASA Satellite Falls Back To Earth; Landfall in Canada

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the you're-welcome dept.

Space 62

CNET, among many other sources, reports that the declining orbit of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite has declined all the way; the satellite reentered and broke up in Earth's atmosphere last night, though the exact time, and thus location, of the reentry was unknown at the time. CNET quotes NASA's release, which says the satellite "fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23, and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24." The Christian Science Monitor has a newer story, which reports that at least some debris from the satellite hit land in Okotoks, Canada, with no injuries. NASA's Science Office page on the satellite (not yet updated to account for the deorbit) says the satellite was launched in 1991, with a planned operational life of three years.

cancel ×

62 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Kerbal Space Program (0)

North Korea (2457866) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501302)

Not to throw away Nasa's success, but I just want to point out this fun game http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerbal_Space_Program [wikipedia.org] It's indie, lets you build your own spacecraft etc :P

The age of personal empowerment. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37501428)

Cellphones, rockets, chemicals... we live in the age of personal empowerment. There is great danger coming from mentally handicapped individuals, as probably is the case of that Norwegian moron -- so we must limit access to some technologies.

But I suspect this is somewhat ineffective, just like security by obscurity. Does someone have any idea on how to prevent such things? (for starters, police action, usually done after-the-fact, is not going to help).

Re:The age of personal empowerment. (0, Offtopic)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501654)

Cellphones, rockets, chemicals... we live in the age of personal empowerment. There is great danger coming from mentally handicapped individuals, as probably is the case of that Norwegian moron -- so we must limit access to some technologies.

But I suspect this is somewhat ineffective, just like security by obscurity. Does someone have any idea on how to prevent such things?

Being able to shoot back? In Texas we had one big case of a gun toting moron. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luby's_massacre [wikipedia.org] We have not had one since, because the criminal is not the only one armed. I am ignoring Fort Hood, as that was federal land, and follows federal gun laws, so no one on the military base was armed. True irony. (The moron even had to buy the gun he used at a private gun store... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Hood_shooting [wikipedia.org] ) The Norway story would have been better like this one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Colorado_YWAM_and_New_Life_shootings#New_Life_Church_shooting [wikipedia.org]

Now I will get Offtopic, which does apply, and Troll, which mean "I disagree." Who will win?

Re:The age of personal empowerment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37504768)

I'm the AC who posted above. I of course hold a version different than that of yours, but I must admit freedom to carry arms is better than nobody having weapons.

But let's have a meta discussion here: why have I got -1? It's somewhat confusing to me.

I even consider your post ontopic and not trolllish at all. So you getting "offtopic" bothers me, too.

Now, the trouble is deeper -- not only moderation is flawed, but you seem to be capable of foreseeing it is flawed and how bad it'll go; to me this signs how low we have reached. It's one things when things don't work; it's another can of worms when people learned to live with that.

BTW, this comment is ontopic, too. You moderators shove your votes where the sun doesn't shine, mmkay?

Re:The age of personal empowerment. (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505976)

The scary part was 70% Off topic and 30% Interesting. That means a lot of people with mod points don't like guns. :) And there are a few people with mod points that can see past the rhetoric. (Or like guns) But do not be impressed with my predicting lunacy. Lunacy is easy to predict.

Re:The age of personal empowerment. (1)

moortak (1273582) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506022)

Arizona, Alabama, and Michigan are just three of the states that have had mass casualty incidents and legal concealed carry. If you're going to say concealed carry has kept you from having another mass casualty incident you'll need a bit more data. Right now it sounds more like a rock that wards off tigers.

Re:Kerbal Space Program (0)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502252)

For the first time in /. history, a slashvertisement is actually topical, relevant and points to something actually cool.

Celebrate this moment, it won't come again soon.

Re:Kerbal Space Program (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37504042)

Nope. The Canada landfall story turned out to be a hoax. It landed in the Pacific between Hawaii and the west coast of the US, according to STRATCOM. See here [spaceflight101.com] .

Poor Canada, they seem to keep getting hit (3, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501308)

It seems that Canada is a falling satellite magnet. In 1977, a Soviet satellite fell in Canada also- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosmos_954 [wikipedia.org] .although that one was probably much worse in terms of damage because Kosmos 954 had a nuclear reactor and some of that debris was radioactive. The only other really major fall where something fell on land was Skylab which fell over Australia. So Canada has managed to get 2/3 major falls that have hit land. That's pretty impressive. I think that Canada and the US are both members of the Space Liability Convention, which has provisions for fallen satellites, so if there's any actual damage from this, the US will need to pay Canada.

Re:Poor Canada, they seem to keep getting hit (1)

electron sponge (1758814) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501328)

IIRC Didn't NASA have to pay a fine for littering due to Skylab?

Re:Poor Canada, they seem to keep getting hit (1)

RdeCourtney (2034578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501560)

That was Australia.. $400 for littering and they've still not paid yet (I'm guessing as they have no money!) http://science.slashdot.org/story/09/07/14/1556228/NASAs-Skylab-400-Littering-Fine-Paid-By-DJ [slashdot.org]

Re:Poor Canada, they seem to keep getting hit (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501628)

Actually, it was paid. By the listeners of a radio show [esperanceexpress.com.au] that donated the 400 bucks to help the struggling NASA.

I can see why NASA didn't pay, avoiding to create a precedent for possibly higher claims, but it looks really badly if a reputable organization has to rely on donations to pay its litter bills...

Re:Poor Canada, they seem to keep getting hit (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502498)

I can see why NASA didn't pay, avoiding to create a precedent for possibly higher claims, but it looks really badly if a reputable organization has to rely on donations to pay its litter bills...

Yes indeed, littering can be a problem [arlo.net] .

Re:Poor Canada, they seem to keep getting hit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37501332)

Of course we keep getting hit! We're America's hat.

send in mulder and scully to check it out! (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501400)

send in mulder and scully to check it out!

Re:Poor Canada, they seem to keep getting hit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37501888)

Well there's a mathematical reason for it. UARS had an orbital inclination of 57 degrees, so it could hit anywhere between 57N and 57S, with large latitudes being much more likely than low latitudes due to the shape of the sine function.

Re:Poor Canada, they seem to keep getting hit (1)

sadness203 (1539377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501898)

That, or Canada is a really large country (Just before Russia), giving it better odds to be on the receiving end.

Ok... it's probably ~2% of the total area of the Earth (or ~6.5% if we exclude ocean). (If my math are correct)

Okotoks Video A Hoax (4, Informative)

jaa101 (627731) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501922)

The Christian Science Monitor appears to have been taken in by the hoax posting of a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OfWgu5jk5g [youtube.com] ) supposedly showing reentry near Okotoks. Looks like the video was posted too early to be legit. UARS is definitely down but nobody seems to know exactly where yet.

Re:Okotoks Video A Hoax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503308)

The posting about Okotoks was up before the satellite was actually spotted over Texas, so yes, this does seem to be bogus. The official report is that it deorbited in the Pacific. It was on the orbit that just missed New Zealand and the periapsis was just beyond that, so the Pacific makes more sense.

Re:Okotoks Video A Hoax (1)

eddy the lip (20794) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503882)

I live in Okotoks and can confirm that it is still here.

I am sad that this is likely a hoax. For a moment I thought I was actually close to such an event!

Re:Okotoks Video A Hoax (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505650)

I'm disappointed. Hopefully, NASA will have better luck next time.

Re:Poor Canada, they seem to keep getting hit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502130)

Dammit, I wanted a piece of that satellite.
I live right outside of Vancouver. I went outside as UARS had a pass just south of here around 9:20pm last night, I was hoping to see it re-enter because it was in the time block NASA said it was coming down. I didn't see UARS, it must have been in Earth's shadow and then it starts burning up a few minutes later.

Whiplash, I tell ya! (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502540)

Space Liability Convention, which has provisions for fallen satellites, so if there's any actual damage from this, the US will need to pay Canada.

Great, so now we'll have a bunch of Canucks wearing neck braces walking with limps lining up in court hoping for a windfall?

Re:Whiplash, I tell ya! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503490)

Canadians don't sue. They will apologise for being in the way.

Re:Poor Canada, they seem to keep getting hit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502874)

Last night this Video was linked to this IT-wire story.
http://www.itwire.com/science-news/space/49989-uars-is-down-in-south-western-canada

Here is the video, but typical I-Phone wide angle lens FAIL. :-( it only had 307 views last night.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OfWgu5jk5g

As they say in Canada Cheers-----bob

Re:Poor Canada, they seem to keep getting hit (1)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503584)

You forgot to list that Russian dude crash landing there a few months ago.
IIRC there was a documentary about it.

Re:the US will need to pay Canada. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503850)

Does that apply to Okotoksians claiming psychological damage after discovering the real cause of the earth moving on Friday night?

I guess Calgary dodged a bullet!!! (1)

alexschmidt (1026034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501340)

Calgary, a city of a million+ people is only a few kilometers from Okotoks!! I better turn on the TV!

I know it's hard to calculate, but come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37501358)

I'm quite unimpressed by NASAs inability to get out an accurate prediction of the target area. It's along "just" a 500 km path but the fact that they couldn't say where it was going to hit should have made them work even harder on the problem and, more importantly, public relations!! I.e. have a website that displays the situation in near-realtime, not just a post once a day saying "we don't know and we don't care; but we'll let you know when it happened"

I just hope there's not too much more junk like that up there. Or at least that they'll be better prepared next time.

Please, dear NASA, give us the info you have next time instead of invoking security through oblivion, it may not seem a big deal to you - statistically the earth is big - but I'd rather check the info several times a day while taking a nice long walk than sitting in the basement and hope that it'll be over before my rations run out (metaphorically speaking; I don't even have a basement :-o).

CAPTCHA: breakage

Re:I know it's hard to calculate, but come on... (3, Informative)

belthize (990217) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501634)

Maybe you should pass your real time updated upper atmosphere model on to them. The time from when the satellite hit the upper atmosphere to when it hits the ground is measured in minutes not many 10's of minutes or hours. With it tumbling and no longer transmitting there's no way to accurately state it's altitude even if you did have a real time upper atmosphere model. There's simply no way to inform people in real time because there's no way to know in real time. Even if you constantly updated it by the time the info was passed on that entry had occurred it would already be on the ground (or darn soon afterward).

Re:I know it's hard to calculate, but come on... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502150)

Are you suggesting that the GP doesn't actually have a working prediction model of the Sun's activity and its interaction with Earth's atmosphere? Why, that would mean he's just talking out his uars.

Re:I know it's hard to calculate, but come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37501644)

Not only that, but they've said there was a 1:3200 chance of it striking someone. When you multiply that out over the population of the earth, the chances of any single person getting hit are extremely small. But still, as we launch these things, does anyone mention there is a 1:3200 chance of someone getting killed by this thing when it reenters? These are not astronauts we're talking about, who understand the risks and who have signed on for the duty. These are random, innocent people.

Re:I know it's hard to calculate, but come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502052)

I daresay that a single engineer driving to work for a year has far more than a 1:3200 chance of striking someone with a multi-ton chunk of metal.

A 1:3200 chance of *any* injury, for a major engineering project, is a vanishingly small chance by the standards of real-life. I have a hard time imagining any large non-space engineering project that would be anywhere this safe.

Re:I know it's hard to calculate, but come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502116)

> I'm quite unimpressed by NASAs inability to get out an accurate prediction of the target area

I was least impressed by NASA's constant reassurances that North America was not at risk, completely ignoring the danger that THEIR satellite posed to THE REST of humanity.

For example:

The satellite will not be passing over North America during that time period.

Well that's a bloody relief to the other 5.75 billion of us.

Re:I know it's hard to calculate, but come on... (1)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503922)

It's moving at 4-5 miles per second. If you can predict the time of reentry of an umpowered, tumbling, oddly shaped object to within 30 minutes, you've narrowed down its impact area to all of 7200-9000 miles. Or roughly 1/3rd of the way around the earth. Even narrowing it down to 5 minutes results in a 1200-1500 mile uncertainty.

Not Canada... ocean west of Australia? (2)

Corporate Drone (316880) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501406)

ABC and Fox News are now reporting that, although it may have started breaking up over Calgary, it seems that it went down in the ocean west of Australia. Guess we're gonna have to wait and see...

Re:Not Canada... ocean west of Australia? (1)

Capt.Albatross (1301561) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501642)

The quoted uncertainty, ~90min, is about enough for one complete orbit, depending on its eccentricity.

Re:Not Canada... ocean west of Australia? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501710)

Canada? Australia?

Given the involvement of ex-British colonies, I'd say this is all an MI-6 covert operation.

Re:Not Canada... ocean west of Australia? (1)

shking (125052) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502142)

Okotoks is just outside of Calgary, Canada's 6 sixth biggest city. Glad to hear the debris hit the ocean instead

I shot a rocket into the air (1)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501606)

I shot a rocket into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where
Until next day, with rage profound,
The man it fell on came around.
In less time than it takes to tell,
He showed me where that rocket fell;
And now I do not greatly care
To shoot more rockets in the air.

(Tom Masson, 1866-1943)

Re:I shot a rocket into the air (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502504)

We shot a rocket in the air
We fear it fell to earth somewhere
Though we were aiming for the moon
Red China claims we hit Kowloon

Re:I shot a rocket into the air (1)

mmontour (2208) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502558)

"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun.

Vulcan (2)

Maglos (667167) | more than 2 years ago | (#37501664)

Maybe this is a *CRAZY* conspiracy theory but I think NASA was trying to take out the Enterprise in nearby Vulcan. http://www.vulcantourism.com/about-vulcan-albertas-star-ship-fx6-1995-a.html [vulcantourism.com]

Re:Vulcan (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502154)

Maybe this is a *CRAZY* conspiracy theory but I think NASA was trying to take out the Enterprise in nearby Vulcan.

Maybe this is a *CRAZY* conspiracy theory?

No, NASA doesn't need to help with that. The town of Vulcan's mayor's trying to kill every connection between the town and ST. Killjoy.

Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37501708)

It's still in orbit... around the Sun! Bahahahaha!

/For the dull or slow-witted, the Earth is in orbit around the Sun.

Pioneer One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502128)

When I read the summary, I couldn't help thinking of the Pioneer One series.
They're a free download - http://vo.do/mWuQ

Video of Re-entry (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502226)

is here [youtube.com] . Not the best camera in the world (I think he said iPhone) but it clearly captures the break-up and large pieces burning.

As of now, YouTube is significantly ahead of NASA and Air Force intelligence (it has a much larger workforce).

Re:Video of Re-entry (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502576)

Clearly captures

I don't think those words mean what you think they mean.

If I look at it in full screen I see something that could be a satellite disintegration but could also be a plane running into some clouds or some confused fireflies.

Re:Video of Re-entry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502704)

Mod this guy down for linking to a hoax and pretending it is real. YouTube is ahead in disinformation.

Re:Video of Re-entry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503084)

"Significantly ahead"? Think again. The CBC is reporting that the Okotoks police have confirmed the crash as a hoax.

Re:Video of Re-entry (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#37507160)

is here [youtube.com] . Not the best camera in the world (I think he said iPhone) but it clearly captures the break-up and large pieces burning.

As of now, YouTube is significantly ahead of NASA and Air Force intelligence (it has a much larger workforce).

And much less reliable workforce. First to news does not mean it's right, which is why we still need a professional news media, not a bunch of yahoos with cameras.

If a satellite falls... (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502412)

...in a forest in Canada, does anybody notice?

Re:If a satellite falls... (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503218)

Which forest ?

Real life imitates art? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502496)

Anyone familiar with the Pioneer One indie series? If the RCMP happens to find a cosmonaut inside what's left of that satellite, it's time to be worried!

Weird (1)

WillRobinson (159226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37504078)

I been watching the decent on a app on my phone, currently it shows it a altitude of 135 km. I was watching it since Friday when it was at 180 km. Was going to try and watch if when it hits 100 to 120 and see how fast it decelerated. Guess its not a real time app. (Satellite Tracker 1.5) I tried to see it last night when it was passing within view between 8:17 and 8:24 pm. But alas was not able to see it.

Doesn't seem to be Okitoks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37505538)

I was watching the local news. Okitoks RCMP have been flooded with calls, but there are *no* reports of any debris falling there. There was a spoof video on YouTube saying it landed there, but that video was later pulled. NASA never noticed it land there, NORAD never noticed it land there, airport radar, weather radar and local astronomers never saw it land there. I think it landed off the coast of Australia. If its any consolation, I saw a re-run of Gilligans Island where a radioactive meteor lands on the island, and the Skipper and Professor build a lightning rod and attach it to the meteor so that lightning can hit it and blow the radioactivity to a million pieces. Closest I saw of anything landing near Okitoks (at least on a TV near Okitoks).

Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37505762)

Reports of satellite debris hitting Alberta likely a hoax:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2011/09/24/cgy-okotoks-stellite-debris.html

When Barak Broke Machaele's Heart (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37505832)

On a very recent evening audio and video computer equipment operated by the National Intelligence Agency under authorization with the consent of the Federal Bureay of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service recorded an exchange between Barak [PUSA] and Machaele Obama.

Here is the unformatted text:
youfuckingbitch/whatinhelldidyouthink/whatinthehellwereyouthinking/youmeasurableslut/don'tyouknowthaticankillyouandeatyourfleshwhithanybodynotevenjoebiedonfindingout/youwhore/youfuckedupwhore/iffoxnewsfindoutthati'mgayandthenationationmuslemcouncilandthenationalcouncilofchurchesfindoutthati'mgaythatwillbetheendofit/youdispicableshiteatingwhore/

We at the FBI think that Pres. Mr. Obama was, shall we say, abit "on edge" that evening ... perhaps abit too much after dinner coffee ... we presume.

The earth is flat and ends just on border of US (1)

SergeyKurdakov (802336) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506300)

What is interesting that for authors of the article from CSM( quote: The 6-ton UARS satellite — the biggest piece of space debris to fall from the sky since Sky Lab in 1979 ) the deorbited Mir station http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mir_space_station [wikipedia.org] has never existed - because only Skylab and this satellite existed as space debris.

We can track ICBMs but not a crashing satellite? (1)

BenJCarter (902199) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506686)

Paranoid? Or not paranoid enough?

What is? (1)

yesung (2464686) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506880)

A young document of which clutter in the gotten [slashdot.org] recently deorbited UARS satellite tv on pc acquired UARS [slashdot.org] gotten inside Canada can have recently been un controlled. Apparently, Canada [vouge4biz.com] the image associated with whenever (and thus where) this satellite television deorbited has returned so that you can being apparent while magnetic. Possibly, says NASA, the actual dirt [slashdot.org] clutter should never be NASA [slashdot.org] observed, early [slashdot.org] nonetheless can be thought to include gotten inside Gulf of mexico. When you are a good optimist thinking about discovering your special piece of space clutter, however, you could be keen on this particular road depending on numerous re-entry cases (hat word of advice for you to Robert Woodcock); within the Ough.S., this Nor'-west is the best best option.

neil young (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37508836)

is not amused

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>