Feeds

1-in-3,200 chance* that a fiery satellite chunk will hit someone on Friday

Defunct climate probe to make dramatic re-entry

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Small fiery pieces of what was once a climate-monitoring satellite will hurtle towards the Earth's surface this Friday.

Unless you live in Greenland, Siberia or Antarctica, watch out for dazzling lights in the sky as red-hot lumps of NASA-grade aluminium descend upon our planet.

The space agency predicts that the debris from the 20-year-old Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) has a 1-in-3,200 chance of hitting a person, a scenario they consider "extremely remote". It is mostly likely the expensive shards will plummet into the sea, NASA said.

Sadly, if you do manage to catch a chunk of satellite, the US government expressly forbids you from selling it on eBay. The smouldering lump will remain the property of the United States and must be turned over to local police.

Most of the 6.5-tonne craft will burn up in the Earth's atmosphere, but NASA debris experts say that at least 26 large pieces of the satellite will survive the scorching temperatures of atmospheric re-entry.

And they could land anywhere between the latitudes of Northern Canada and southern South America – an area comprising most of the world.

The climate taster has been orbiting the Earth, sampling the ozone layer and chemical compounds in the upper atmosphere. When the $750m UARS satellite was launched in 1991, NASA intended it to last for three years. But it kept going until 2005 when NASA ordered the satellite to burn its remaining fuel and prepare for a suicide dive to Earth.

The last of its fuel is now gone, and the UARS has been gradually pulled closer to Earth. Some recent solar activity has also advanced its descent. This activity can cause the Earth's atmosphere to heat and expand, increasing drag on spacecraft. ®

* This means that the odds that you will be hit by debris are just 1-in-21 trillion, NASA said, since there are about 7 billion people on Earth.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.