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Falling UARS Satellite Debris May Fall Anywhere, But Not on eBay

If a piece of satellite falls on your land, or crashes into your house, you can sue the U.S. government, but you cannot keep the debris or sell it, according to the law.

If a piece of equipment belonging to NASA damages your property you can definitely file a lawsuit, an expert told the Daily Finance. According to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, the government of the country from which the satellite was launched is liable if it causes damage to another state or that state's citizens.

However, if you find the wreckage, you cannot sell it on eBay. All the space debris produced by NASA belong to NASA, even after hitting the Earth and being smashed into pieces.

One of the DF’s commenters was not pleased with this rule.

“If it lands on my land. It's finder's keeper's and will go to the highest bidder,” he wrote. “How can they say you can't sell it on ebay, when they can't even control the thing and everyone's life is at risk.”

NASA has reportedly alerted the public not to touch any debris that may be found.

UARS debris remains U.S. property, regardless of whether they circle the Earth or lie scattered on the ground.

"Obviously when a tank is found, or another component is found around the world, we do have an interest in it," Nick Johnson, a NASA spokesman told the press. "We go try to verify the identity but most of the time, it is a very large tank, it is made out titanium or stainless steel, and we know very well that those are going survive. They may not ever be found, but we know they are going to survive. So there really is not a whole lot we can learn from those tanks."

The out-of-control NASA satellite which heads towards the Earth and is scheduled to hit Friday night or Saturday morning could fall pretty much anywhere on the globe, according to NASA's estimates.

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