What’s up in Space?

Does any one out there find it mildly disturbing that NASA does not know where the UARS satellite landed? I thought they had sophisticated software and computers that could calculate the nth degree the placement of anything in space. It seemed to me, yesterday that NASA did not even know if the thing was even still in space. I have a vague understanding that the variables are immense, but it sounded like they did not even have a radar location for a very long time.

What do you think about the return of the UARS and its unknown reentry and location?

Lets have a discussion.




4 responses to “What’s up in Space?

  1. On re-entry the satellite would generate large number of pieces of various sizes. To calculate which part of the body is susceptible to fracture requires extra-ordinary detail (at molecular level) of the bus size structure. That I am afraid may be not available. Situation gets more complicated when some of the debris would experience combustion.

    The satellite traveled a large area from Africa to Pacific ocean at hundreds of miles an hour over huge region of atmosphere. It is practically very tough to characterize atmosphere profile of all those spots.

    Even if NASA had the ability, it might not have been worthwhile to spend time, energy and efforts.

    • not being a scientist, i see it from a very simplified point of view. having said that, it seemed like there was an incredible amount of uncertainty concerning the time of initial reentry. after that point i think i understand about the where about of the final crash. But the time of it all starting?

      • Perhaps we are going in the wrong direction. According to all that I have heard over the last week or so, the space agency, not only lost control of their satellite, but could not predict, even until the actual time of the event, when and where the thing would enter our atmosphere. This is alarming to me. Did the thing skip across the upper crust of our atmosphere? Did they miscalculate? Or maybe even—did something happened that our government does not want us to know about.
        In each case, the ramifications are what I am interested in.
        thanks patientwolf, for keeping the conversation open.

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