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Space

Taiwan more vulnerable to satellite debris at 4 a.m.: space agency

ROC Central News Agency

2011/09/23 22:42:42

By Wu Chia-yin and Elizabeth Hsu

Taipei, Sept. 23 (CNA) Fragments from a falling United States-owned satellite crash are most likely to land nearer Taiwan if they plunge out of orbit at around 4 a.m. Saturday, Taiwan time, the National Space Organization (NSPO) said Friday.

Citing projections by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the NSPO said the satellite is expected to fall to Earth between midnight and 6 a.m. Saturday, and within that range, a 4 a.m. fall would leave Taiwan the most vulnerable.

According to NASA, most of the 35-foot-long Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite measuring 15 feet in diameter is expected to be incinerated, but 26 pieces of satellite debris, ranging from 1 kilogram to 158 kg a piece, could still make it to the ground.

NASA has predicted that chunks of the satellite debris could fall anywhere within 57 degrees north latitude to 57 degrees south latitude, the NSOP said.

Because that band covers 84 percent of the globe, the NSPO said the chance that Taiwan is hit by the falling space junks is 1 in 13,000, calculated based on the fact that Taiwan is about one-16,000th of the Earth's surface area.

Taipei, Sept. 23 (CNA) Fragments from a falling United States-owned satellite crash are most likely to land nearer Taiwan if they plunge out of orbit at around 4 a.m. Saturday, Taiwan time, the National Space Organization (NSPO) said Friday.

Citing projections by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the NSPO said the satellite is expected to fall to Earth between midnight and 6 a.m. Saturday, and within that range, a 4 a.m. fall would leave Taiwan the most vulnerable.

According to NASA, most of the 35-foot-long Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite measuring 15 feet in diameter is expected to be incinerated, but 26 pieces of satellite debris, ranging from 1 kilogram to 158 kg a piece, could still make it to the ground.

NASA has predicted that chunks of the satellite debris could fall anywhere within 57 degrees north latitude to 57 degrees south latitude, the NSOP said.

Because that band covers 84 percent of the globe, the NSPO said the chance that Taiwan is hit by the falling space junks is 1 in 13,000, calculated based on the fact that Taiwan is about one-16,000th of the Earth's surface area.



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