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Fallen NASA Satellite: The Mysterious Disappearance of UARS Has Scientists Stumped

Fallen NASA Satellite: The Mysterious Disappearance of UARS Has Scientists Stumped

NASA's failed satellite, UARS, crashed on Earth last Saturday but still nothing is known about its exact location.

NASA believes some of UARS' debris landed in the Pacific Ocean, but the precise time and location of its crash site have not been determined. The agency says it may never know where the fallen satellite is actually located.

NASA said that UARS, after 20 years in orbit, made its way into Earth's atmosphere sometime between 11:23 p.m. on Friday and 1:09 a.m. EDT on Saturday.

People took to social media websites and reported that some falling satellite pieces reached Canada, near Calgary. These claims weren't backed up by actual evidence and NASA therefore considered them illegitimate. NASA's own Twitter account posted "We can now confirm that #UARS is down!" on Saturday morning.

Some of the satellite's debris are said to have landed over some parts of Africa as well.

They issued this statement before noon on Saturday: "NASA's decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24," the agency's statement said.

"The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite entered the atmosphere over the North Pacific Ocean, off the west coast of the United States. The precise re-entry time and location of any debris impacts are still being determined. NASA is not aware of any reports of injury or property damage."

Nicholas Johnson, chief orbital debris scientist at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, said, "Because we don't know where the re-entry point actually was, we don't know where the debris field might be. We may never know."

A spokesman for NASA also told the Wall Street Journal that there were no credible reports of people getting hit by the debris or anyone finding satellite parts.

UARS weighed in at 13,000-pounds. Its debris field stretched out to 500-miles.

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