Skylab, the first US space station to fall to Earth in 1979, hit vast swathes of Western Australia. (NASA did not pay a $400 fine for the trash.)
NASA has no plans to dismantle the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, after that mission ended in 2005. Six years later, the dead satellite, the size of a city bus, went unchecked to the other side. Entering, NASA calculated that 1 in 3,200 could be infected. It is ready located in the Pacific Ocean.
Ted Mullhaupt, a debris expert at Aerospace Corporation, which is funded by the federal government for research and analysis, said 20 to 40 percent of a rocket or satellite survives without returning.
That would indicate that 10,000 to 20,000 pounds of the Long March 5B booster could hit the Earth’s surface.
If the odds of hitting someone on Earth were greater than 1 in 10,000, the United States and some other countries would avoid the uncontrolled entry of space debris, El Sayed said. Mullhaupt said.
To date, there are no known cases of man-made space debris in which a person has been injured.
“1 in 10,000 is a somewhat arbitrary number,” the master said. Mullhaupt said. “It’s widely accepted, and more recently, when many things go in, it adds up to the point that someone is infected.”
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