NASA: Remains of satellite may never be found

By REUTERS
September 25, 2011 02:46

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - A six-tonne NASA science satellite crashed to Earth on Saturday, leaving a mystery about where a tonne of space debris may have landed.

The US space agency said it believes the debris ended up in the Pacific Ocean, but the precise time of the bus-sized satellite's re-entry and the location of its debris field have not been determined.

The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, ended 20 years in orbit with a suicidal plunge into the atmosphere sometime between 11:23 p.m. on Friday and 1:09 a.m. EDT on Saturday (0323 to 0509 GMT Saturday), NASA said.

The satellite would have been torn apart during the fiery re-entry, but about 26 pieces, the largest of which was estimated to have weighed 330 pounds (150 kg), likely survived the fall, officials said.


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