A satellite falling back down to Earth could cause some major damage later this week, as the hurtling satellite still has an unknown landing site, Gizmodo confirms this Wednesday, Nov. 6. The rogue satellite in question, the Gravity Field and Steady State Ocean Circulation Explorer from the European Space Agency, is heading for an undeniable crash back to our home planet in just days, and people are hoping it won’t be in their backyards or on their heads.
The satellite falling somewhere across the globe could again cause some serious damage, depending on its particular landing location, says the New York Times. In all seriousness, due to the satellite’s wayward orbit, nearly every place on Earth will be passed at one point or another during its downward trajectory, and where different pieces of the satellite may fall remain unknown.
NASA scientists aren’t talking about this falling satellite just dropping small nuts or bolts, either. Hurtling pieces that separate from the massive outer space technology could weigh up to 200 pounds, and are believed to make it through the long, flaming, descent back to the surface of the earth. When they finally land at their unknown locations, grave damage could come as a result.
According to the latest reports on the matter, almost 100 tons of various space debris are expected to fall from our clear skies this 2013 in and of itself in different landing sites, which seems to bring to mind a rather frightening image of a literal rain of returning machines, let alone a single satellite falling back down to Earth. For many people who recently saw the hit movie “Gravity,” the power of hurtling spacecraft matter is certainly not to be underestimated.
While satellites are usually left to waste away in a “decommissioned” graveyard orbit until they are safely and carefully brought back down to earth using advanced mathematics and powerful thrusters to crash in the sea, this particular satellite is causing people around the world to keep their eyes open and eyes focused on the sky.
As one Russian space site discusses online about a literal “spacecraft cemetery” for this satellite falling and other outer space debris:
The Spacecraft Cemetery is an area of the South Pacific, approximately 3,900 km from the capital of New Zealand, Wellington. It is used to deposit the remains of spacecraft that do not burn up on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, such as the carcass of the Russian Mir space station and waste-filled cargo ships. The remote location was specially selected for the disposal of spacecraft because of its depth of four km and distance from shipping lanes.”
The crash landing is expected to hit Earth late Sunday night or Monday morning, asserts NASA, so keep your hats handy.