Falling six-ton satellite headed toward Earth

September 24, 2011 04:57


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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Predictions for the timing and path of a defunct NASA satellite falling to Earth shifted on Friday and officials put North America back in a potential area where the debris could come crashing down.

The research satellite -- about the size of a bus -- is now likely to tumble to Earth between 11 p.m. EDT Friday and 3 a.m. EDT Saturday (0300 GMT to 0700 GMT Saturday), showering pieces over an as-yet unknown part of the planet, NASA said.

The satellite is expected to pass over Canada, Africa, Australia, and large stretches of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans during that time, the US space agency said.

Scientists are unable to pinpoint the exact time and place where the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, will return to Earth due to the satellite's unpredictable tumbles.

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