A dead NASA satellite the size of school bus is falling back to Earth, and where it will drop no one knows, at least not yet. The space agency is clear, however, on where the satellite’s debris will not end up: eBay.
As NASA waits to learn where the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) will fall, the space agency has alerted the public not to touch any debris that may be found. The space agency wants to protect the public’s safety, but also enforce the law. UARS remains U.S. government property, regardless of whether it is circling the Earth intact or lying on the ground in pieces.
Launched in 1991 from the space shuttle Discovery, the UARS completed its mission studying the chemicals in Earth’s atmosphere in 2005 and since then has been gradually falling out of orbit. U.S. Strategic Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., which tracks man-made objects circling the planet, expects UARS to plunge back to Earth during the last week of September.