NASA Falling Satellite UARS Crashes: Last Seen Over Pacific Ocean

NASA's falling six-ton satellite UARS fell to Earth early Saturday morning, and was last seen somewhere over the vast Pacific Ocean, where it is thought to have crashed.

Details were still unclear, but it is believed the satellite first penetrated Earth's atmosphere somewhere over the Pacific Ocean; most of it is believed to have burned up, although reports about exactly where the debris landed have not been confirmed by NASA.

Unconfirmed reports include a video that purportedly shows the satellite breaking up over Canada. There were also unconfirmed reports of debris seen from Florida.

However, the Aerospace Corporation said Oregon was likely the last place in the U.S. that the satellite was visible, according to Fox News.

The space agency has announced that the satellite "is down," according to the space agency's Twitter page.

NASA has added that debris fell to Earth between 11:23 p.m. ET Friday and 1:09 a.m. ET Saturday, however it still is not clear where the pieces may have landed.

"The U.S. is very safe from (the satellite) ... It's final orbit did not cross the United States," NASA tweeted early Saturday.

However, according to CNN there were reports of suspected sightings from San Antonio, Texas, where a TV photographer caught images of bright objects sweeping across the night sky. Also reports emerged from Hawaii, where witnesses said they saw what they believed to be two chunks from the satellite.

The UARS is the largest American space agency satellite to return uncontrolled into the atmosphere in about 30 years.

A statement on the NASA website reads: "The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. The precise re-entry time and location are not yet known with certainty."

The Federal Aviation Administration released a warning Thursday regarding the falling satellite, telling its pilots that debris could be a potential hazard.

"It is critical that all pilots/flight crew members report any observed falling space debris to the appropriate (air traffic control) facility and include position, altitude, time and direction of debris observed," the FAA statement said.

UARS was deployed in 1991 from the Discovery space shuttle to study the Earth's upper atmosphere. It has helped scientists understand to a greater degree the chemistry of the protective ozone layer and the cooling effect volcanoes exert on the global climate.

The Outer Space Treaty 1967 states that the U.S. government retains ownership of any debris that lands on earth, and is entitled to seek possession of any items found on the ground.

The U.S. government also retains absolute liability if a piece of UARS is found to have damage property or injured someone.

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