The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is taking several safety precautions in response to NASA's falling satellite, UARS, is expected to enter the Earth’s atmosphere Friday.
FEMA is making sure they are fully equipped to respond to any event that may result from the 6.5-ton spacecraft that may or may not hit the United States.
NASA's scientists say their now-defunct satellite could possibly hit Earth somewhere between Thursday and Saturday. However, the exact location of the expected crash has not yet been revealed. Some of the predicted hotspots for the crash site include America, northern Canada and southern South America.
UARS is reported to have no fuel left onboard. NASA officials say that there is no need to blast the satellite out of the sky, since it isn't harboring any dangerous materials.
"There doesn't appear to be a reason to do those same measures,” said U.S. Air Force Major Michael Duncan, deputy chief of space situational awareness for U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
In another statement to SPACE.com, Duncan let it be known that the FEMA organization will be called upon "as part of our chain of command notifications for re-entries over North America."
When UARS finally makes it re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, FEMA will be aid Duncan and other government officials through its 24-hour, 12-hour, 6-hour, and 2-hour predictions on the expected crash.
Nicholas Johnson, chief scientist for NASA's Orbital Debris Program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, gave these comments on FEMA'S involvement in the matter: "Obviously FEMA is always prepared to assist … should any of these components land in the United States. It's, again, very, very unlikely when you look at the ratio of the land mass of the United States to the land mass of the world. We have had intergovernmental meetings on this issue and I feel very confident that they will rise to the occasion should the occasion arise."
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its daughter agency FEMA are set to ensure there are no casualties from the crash landing of UARS.