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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 29 November, 2014

Ireland is safe as NASA satellite falls

NASA is still awaiting confirmation that the dead satellite has re-entered Earth’s atmosphere but the space explorers believe it fell over Canada and vast areas of world’s oceans. Nobody has been injured.

Image: NASA

Updated 2.11pm

NASA BELIEVES THAT its dead satellite has re-entered Earth and that if any debris fell, Canada is the most likely area.

The now-defunct Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) re-entered Earth’s atmosphere between 4.23am and 6.09am today.

During its time of re-entry it was passing over Canada, Africa, as well as vast areas of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.

The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean but the precise locations are not yet known.

The space explorers said that the risk to public safety was “very remote”.

However, the NASA Twitter account did ask, “It’s possible that UARS is down now. (Everybody OK out there?)”

The organisation also warned that any pieces of the satellite that are found are still the property of the “country that made it”.

“You’ll have to give ‘em back to the US,” NASA said on Twitter.

On the other hand, liability for damage caused by space debris is also the responsibility of America as they have signed the 1972 international treaty that regulates the issue.

The 35-foot satellite, which is the size of a bus, was expected to break into 26 pieces weighing a combined 1,200 pounds.

It is the biggest NASA spacecraft to crash back to Earth, uncontrolled, since 1979.

Nobody has ever been hurt by falling space junk before and, luckily, it appears that record still holds.

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