NASA satellite returns to Earth, debris discovered south of Calgary

[] — NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite [UARS] has reentered the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean almost six years after the end of its run. UARS was launched from Space Shuttle Discovery on September 15, 1991, and had since ceased operations since 2005.

NASA warned that not all pieces of the satellite would breakup on re-entry to Earth but that the risk to public safety and property is “extremely small.” The U.S. space agency said it was too early to determine where UARS debris might end up but reported that some wreckage had been discovered about 30 kilometres south of Calgary, Alberta.


“NASA’s decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24,” said a statement on the agency’s website early Saturday.

“The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. The precise re-entry time and location are not yet known with certainty.”


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