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#1 Hum

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 20:53

Who do you sue if you’re hit by a satellite?

A defunct satellite from the European Space Agency the size of a Chevy Suburban is set to plunge to Earth somewhere between Sunday night and Monday afternoon -- and experts say there's no way to precisely determine where it will crash.

GOCE, or Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer, ran out of gas last month and has been steadily sinking towards the Earth. As the planet rotates, the satellite whizzes over nearly every point on Earth. Experts expect it to plunge harmlessly into the oceans that cover 70 percent of the surface of the planet.

“Basically, governments are responsible for their own spacecraft,” explained Marcia S. Smith, president of the Space and Technology Policy Group in Arlington, Va. “[If] you could prove a piece of GOCE hit your Honda, you could go to your government to make a claim,” she told FoxNews.com.

400 pounds of smoking metal spread over a "sizeable swath" is nothing to sniff at. But should one of those fragments land on U.S. soil, you’re fully covered, according to the United Nations. The U.N.’s Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects was created in September of 1972, and has been ratified by 88 countries and signed by 22 nations as of January 1, 2013.

“A launching State shall be absolutely liable to pay compensation for damage caused by its space object on the surface of the Earth or to aircraft in flight,” reads the policy. And the GOCE satellite was launched from Russia, so that country would be responsible, said Mark Hopkins chairman of the executive committee of the National Space Society.

While space objects reenter the atmosphere all the time, few pieces survive the fiery trip and many of those end up in the ocean, Smith said. But sometimes, they do. Russia's Cosmos 954 satellite crashed in Canada in 1978, with a radioactive energy source. That sounds more alarming than it actually was; the element was “vanishingly small” when it hit ground, Hopkins said. But Canada did try to get money back from the Russians -- and they did pay up, he said.

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#2 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 21:20

too bad it isnt a controlled entry, i remember last time there was one Taco bell put a floating target in the ocean and said if it got hit they would give away free Tacos



#3 badb0y

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 21:27

Any chance for it to fall here: 

 

800px-WhiteHouseSouthFacade.JPG



#4 Enron

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 21:31

If it lands at my place, I'm selling it on eBay.



#5 Atomic Wanderer Chicken

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 21:49

This for some reason, reminded me the scene where the Sirius star light falls in the Truman Show (one of my most favorite movies of all time)

"An airplane in trouble began shedding parts as it flew over sea haven moments ago"

airlplane.jpg



#6 yowanvista

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 22:21

Most of the 1100kg structure will already have burned up in the upper atmosphere, the remaining 200kg will likely fall as harmless fragments so there's not real danger.



#7 McKay

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 22:22

Remember when the Australian Government tried to fine NASA for littering when a US Satellite crashed in the outback?



#8 OP Hum

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 23:11

I hope it doesn't hit a UFO :alien:



#9 DocM

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 23:29

The latest prediction is reentry at 23:33 GMT. The most likely drop zone is Eastern China, but they're giving a plus/minus window of four hours.

#10 webeagle12

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 23:38

Any chance for it to fall here: 

 

800px-WhiteHouseSouthFacade.JPG

 We are not that lucky



#11 Thrackerzod

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 23:47

Real time tracking: http://www.satview.org/?sat_id=34602U

 

Edit: Maybe not, I've noticed all the tracking sites are showing different things. Unless it is over Australia, South America and the North Pole all at the same time I'd say they're wrong. They aren't actually tracking it in real time though, they just take the latest data and then try and predict where it's going to be.



#12 DocM

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 00:10

Now East of Hudson Bay heading North over the pole.

Reentry: 11 Nov 2013
Time: 03h59 UTC +/-8 hs
Altitude: 142.32 Km

If it misses China then Indonesia/Malaysia and the Western tip of Australia are up to bat ;)

#13 Enron

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 00:50

I think it'll land in the sea.



#14 OP Hum

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 00:55

The latest prediction is reentry at 23:33 GMT. The most likely drop zone is Eastern China, but they're giving a plus/minus window of four hours.

There goes the latest shipment of Wal-mart crap. ;)



#15 DocM

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 01:08

ESA tracker

http://www.esa.int/S...ions/index.html