Skylab, America’s first space station It fell to Earth in 1979, affecting large areas of Western Australia. (NASA did not pay the $400 fine for the litter.)
NASA also has no plans to dismantle the Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite, or UARS, after that mission ended in 2005. Six years later, the dead satellite, the size of a city bus, made its way to the other side. – entry, NASA calculated that 1 in 3,200 people could be injured. This is done falls into the Pacific Ocean.
Typically 20 to 40 percent of a rocket or satellite survives without recovery, said Ted Muelhaupt, a debris expert at the Aerospace Corporation, which is largely funded by the federal government for research and analysis.
That would suggest that 10,000 pounds to 20,000 pounds of the Long March 5B booster could hit the Earth’s surface.
If the chances of injuring someone on the ground are greater than 1 in 10,000, the United States and some other countries will avoid uncontrolled reentry of space debris, Mr. Mulhabt said.
To date, there are no known cases of someone being injured by man-made space debris.
“The 1 in 10,000 figure is somewhat arbitrary,” said Mr. Mulhaupt said. “It’s widely accepted that, recently, when many objects re-enter, they add up to the extent that someone is injured.”
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