A Satellite crashing to Earth next Saturday could fall on Sweden


Saturday, 17 September 2011
Around September 24, a dead satellite is expected to crash somewhere on the globe, according to NASA and it can land on Swedish soil.

The satellite is 20 years old and has fallen out of orbit. Right now it is moving towards the earth at a speed of eight kilometres per second.

No one knows where it will fall, more than that it will hot somewhere between latitude 57 degrees north and 57 degrees south of the equator - that is, in the field of the earth where most people live, writes the BBC.

Sweden extends approximately between latitude 55 and the 69 degree northern, meaning that debris from the satellite, in theory, could crash on Swedish soil. Everything south of a line at around Gothenburg would be at risk, according to NASA estimates, although the risk may be considered minimal.


Parts of the satellite, which as a whole is five-tonne, will likely burn up as it enters the Earth's atmosphere. The parts that remain after the break up will probably fragment into smaller parts and spread over a large area when they hit Earth's surface.

NASA estimates that it will be able to make better estimates of where the parts from the satellite could hit the earth about two hours before they reach the Earth's atmosphere.

Other reports from the USA MSNBC hold that the satellite, which monitored atmospheric changes between 1991 and 2005 but was then put in a disposal orbit, could fall anywhere in latitude between northern Canada and southern South America. The biggest piece to survive the fall is expected to weigh about 300 pounds (150 kilograms), or roughly the weight of a refrigerator.

MSNBC added that the chance that any piece of the satellite will hit anybody at all is 1-in-3,200, and the chance that you specifically would be hit is 1-in-20 trillion. (Unless you live in, say, Finland. Then there's zero chance.)

For those hoping to find the satellite debris next weekend, it might also be good to know that all parts of the satellite are considered to belong to the U.S. government.
By Team

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