Any minute now (updated) | Bangkok Post: learning

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Any minute now (updated)

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NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite has fallen to Earth and no one seems to know precisely where. As expected, the world is safe and the news media has moved on to other stories. NASA image 

A NASA image of the six-ton research satellite that is expected to fall to Earth today.

8:45 am September 25. NASA has confirmed that satellite is down and they are still trying to find out where it fell. For the news media, however, the story is over.

media – newspapers, television, radio, etc. สื่อ

15:10  NASA is now saying the satellite is down but not giving the location. It's still too early. There are now suggestions that the debris sightings in Canada, including a video, may be a hoax.

debris – broken pieces that are left when something large has been destroyed  เศษ ซากปรักหักพัง  ซากสิ่งของที่ถูกทำลาย

hoax – a plan to deceive someone, such as telling the police there is a bomb somewhere when there is not one, or a trick การหลอกลวง,เล่ห์กระเท่ห์,เล่ห์เหลี่ยม

14:10 Reuters: "There were reports on Twitter of debris falling over Okotoks, a town south of Calgary in western Canada."

13:45 pm (Thai time)  I'm back. From NASA: "We expect that the debris has landed by now. We're just waiting to get confirmation of where from the U.S. Strategic Command that keeps an eye on space debris."

11:45 am  I have to go out for my son's guitar lesson. I'll be back a bit later for a summary of what actually happened.

11:35 am (Thai time)  First reports are coming in that the satellite MAY be down. As usual, nothing is confirmed. If it is down, it looks like its in the northern Atlantic beyond Canada.

11:27  Satellite just passing over Canada in Hudson Bay area. Wish my airplane to the US could move that fast. Would shorten my trip about 18 hours.

10:45am Latest update from NASA says re-entry should take place within the next hour -- or maybe two. Follow the satellite track live here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/theweatherspace-news


Click button to listen to Falling satellite and rightclick to download

Any minute now

As of this morning that six-ton out-of-control  NASA satellite was still in orbit but falling closer and closer to point where it will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and fall – somewhere. Scientists admit they have little idea where that might be.

Re-entry will likely happen late this morning our time or early in the afternoon, but again scientists don't really know.

"During that time period," the NASA website says, "the satellite will be passing over Canada, Africa and Australia, as well as vast areas of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans."

That's not very precise, is it?

What scientists do know is that 20-year-old Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, will break up on its re-entry and likely spread over an 800 kilometer area.

Twenty-six pieces are expected to survive the re-entry and crash to Earth. The fragments should range between one kilogram all the way up to 150-160 kilograms.

Should you worry?

No, the scientists say. The chances of anyone getting killed or hurt are extremely remote. Scientists say the debris will mostly likely fall into an ocean or land in an uninhabited region of Earth.

There is only a one in 3200 chance of any unlucky person on Earth being hit and your chances of being hit are so small they are not worth thinking –  or worrying about.

Have a nice day.

image – a photograph, painting, or other work of art that represents a person or thing รูปภาพ
research – a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it การวิจัย
satellite – an electronic device that is sent into space and moves around the earth or another planet. It is used for communicating by radio, television, etc. and for providing information ดาวเทียม
orbit – a curved path followed by a planet or an object as it moves around another planet, star, moon, etc วิถีโคจร, วงโคจร
atmosphere – the mixture of gases that surrounds the earth บรรยากาศรอบโลก
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it  ยอมรับ
vast – extremely large in area, size, amount, etc.  กว้างใหญ่, มหาศาล
precise – exact and accurate แน่นอน, เที่ยงตรง
spread – to gradually affect or cover a larger area แพร่กระจาย
survive – to continue to exist รอดพ้น
fragment – a small piece of a large object that has broken, often into a lot of pieces  ส่วนที่แตกออกมา
range – to have an upper and a lower limit in amount, number, etc ผันแปรภายในขอบเขตหนึ่ง
remote – slight; not very great เล็กน้อยมาก
debris – broken pieces that are left when something large has been destroyed  เศษ ซากปรักหักพัง  ซากสิ่งของที่ถูกทำลาย
uninhabited – with no people living there; not inhabited ร้าง

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