A defunct atmosphere-monitoring satellite is expected to enter earth's atmosphere, break into pieces and smack down upon Earth on Friday.
According to NASA, the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) the size of a small bus will most likely come crashing down through the atmosphere on Friday. However, experts predict that most of the UARS spacecraft will burn up in Earth's atmosphere.
An approximated 26 pieces of debris will probably survive the fiery plunge and slam down to Earth. The biggest piece may be as much as 300 pounds. However, scientists in the space agency say it is impossible to precisely determine where the satellite will crash and where those debris will fall.
Regarding the plunge of the defunct satellite, some news sites have expressed concerns. This is partly because there exists a huge uncertainty of being hit by debris especially when you are told there is no way to figure out where the debris will fall.
An article on science on msnbc.com by Natalie Wolchover shows a pessimistic attitude. “So let's assume you dodge this particular satellite. What are the chances you'll get struck by something falling from orbit ? space debris or otherwise ? during your lifetime?” Wolchover says in the article.
However, many people believe it is not necessary to worry issues like this. I don't think we took any time at all wondering what its ultimate fate would be, Wilbert Skinner, one of the lead scientists for UARS told National Geographic, adding that, at the time, such concerns were background noise. NASA says the odds that someone somewhere will get hurt is just 1 in 3200. So far, there has not been any reports regard of any injuries of human caused by falling space debris nor any serious property damage.
Actually, some people are so optimistic that they believe satellite decays can offer a chance to witness a fairly spectacular show. “If you're very lucky and in the right place at the right time, you may see quite a nice little fireworks show from it,” Ted Molczan, a famous satellite watcher told CNET.
meanwhile, as satellite trackers are waiting for the show, a small group of gamblers are betting on the crash site in the website paddypower.com.