UARS update 5: new predicted re-entry tonight at 05:10 UTC +/- 2 hrs

By Phil Plait | September 23, 2011 8:35 pm

The Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies has updated their predicted re-entry time for NASA’s UARS satellite. It is now 9/24 (tonight!) at 05:10 UTC (01:10 Eastern US time), which puts it over the southern Indian ocean:

See Related posts below for information and background. Note the uncertainty is once again smaller, at +/- 2 hours!

Related posts:

UARS update 3: new predicted re-entry tonight at 03:16 UTC +/- 5 hrs
UARS update 2: new predicted re-entry at 00:58 UTC
Update: satellite *might* fall on Friday at 22:00 UTC +/- 9 hours
NASA satellite due to burn up some time in the next few days

MORE ABOUT: re-entry, satellite, UARS

Comments (34)

  1. Oh please make it to Australia!

  2. The live feed I was watching already has it past New Zealand and heading over the Pacific.

  3. Freerefill

    Aww man! I wanted it to land near me (northeast USA)! All the graphs so far had the potential of landing nearby if their median prediction was off by less than 2 hours, so I was all day excited!

    Sure we’ve got rain and clouds, but still.. that would have been so cool!

    Oh well. Guess I’ll wait for the next one. Ho hum.

  4. James

    But if it’s going around the earth every 90 minutes or so, what does +/- 2 hours really mean? Could splash down really anywhere in that window…

  5. James

    Also Tanya, what “live feed” are you referring to? Is there a website for it?

  6. Kevin

    Heavens Above has it crossing over the NW US at that time. I am commenting live from my backyard in Portland, OR. I suspect HA does not reflect the slower speed of the last few hours. I have my camera out nonetheless.

  7. ChadEatsWaffles

    Live Feed here… Do not know how accurate though…

  8. Phil posted This one EArlier:

    But now it seems to be under Australia again…

  9. Ron1

    @5 James

    heavens-above . com has a map with UARS current position plotted. If using that page, refresh your browser to get current position. Same with reentrynews . (map Phil is using).

    As of 9:38 MDT (03:38UTC) UARS was just north of Antarctica midway between Africa and Australia.

    I hope to see it on its next (possible last) orbital pass over western Canada. Here’s hoping (and yet hoping for a water landing).


  10. Ron1

    10.05MDT UARS just north of equator between NZ and North America and looks like I get a ringside seat in about 20-30 minutes.

  11. Kevin

    Hmmm, nothing at the HA predicted time. I still think it’s delayed due to drag. Unless it has already interfaced.

  12. Wzrd1

    04:28UDT now, satellite is at 89 miles altitude and over the Atlantic. Velocity steady at 4.7 miles per second.

  13. Ron1

    was not much to see — normal satellites.

  14. follow

    its over North Atlantic now, heading to North of Africa.

  15. follow

    Over north atlantic, heading to north of africa now.

  16. patrick14

    I have seen nothing in Western Canada (near Calgary, AB)

  17. VinceRN

    It passed over western Washington too far south for me to see. If it was above my horizon it was lost in the light pollution of Seattle. However, it got me outside and looking up on the clearest night I remember around here in a long time. I even convinced myself of a faint bit of Milky Way near the zenith. Probably just wishful thinking, but still, the sky is amazing here now.

  18. The likelihood of it landing on my house seems to be increasing. That’s somewhat alarming.

  19. Lucy

    does anyone know of a web site or directv channel coverig this news live? I would like to watch and hear whats happening at every moment til it lands! thanks!

  20. Kevin

    I saw something at 22:02 PST, moving South to North, faded in and out as if tumbling, then a bright flash. It was about 70 degs above the horizon, Portland, OR. It did not persist. I am going to guess it was a coincidence. It appeared too high. Also, there is a fixed wing aircraft that has been in orbit for the last 45 minutes. There is all sorts of crap in the sky if you look up for 3 hours straight….

  21. Wzrd1

    www . n2yo . com/?s=21701
    Good luck connecting to the overloaded server though. :/

  22. Ron1

    From NASA UARS site…

    Update #13
    Fri, 23 Sep 2011 10:55:17 PM MDT

    As of 10:30 p.m. EDT on Sept. 23, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 85 miles by 90 miles (135 km by 140 km). Re-entry was expected between 11:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 12:45 a.m., Sept. 24, Eastern Daylight Time (3:45 a.m. to 4:45 a.m. GMT). During that time period, the satellite was passing over Canada and Africa, as well as vast areas of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. The risk to public safety was very remote. NASA is working to confirm the re-entry location and time and will provide an update shortly.

  23. Wayne on the Plains

    NASA via facebook (!)

    UARS UPDATE — We expect that the debris has landed by now. We’re just waiting to get confirmation of where from the U.S. Strategic Command that keeps an eye on space debris.

  24. Wzrd1

    Interesting that NASA updates FACEBOOK faster than their OWN page. :/
    Even MORE interesting is, NASA does not and CAN NOT update status of ANYTHING on Facebook or any OTHER private website, some federal law thing.
    Actually, THREE federal laws…
    More interesting is, even a paper kite wouldn’t break up at 85-90 miles altitude…

  25. Wayne on the Plains

    I believe that altitude was at 10:30 pm EDT, something the size of UARS wouldn’t stay at that altitude for long.

  26. Wzrd1

    Wayne, you forget one REALLY important thing: INERTIA AND MOMENTUM.
    Too high to yet break up…

  27. MichaelL

    Just read a report that it possibly came in over Canada.

  28. Wayne on the Plains

    I didn’t say it would break up at 90 miles altitude, just that it wouldn’t say there for long. I believe 50 miles altitude is what I heard for it to start to break up, but the lower it gets the faster it looses altitude, so if it was 90 miles several hours ago it’s likely that it’s already had its “death plunge” although I think we’re still close to the window of uncertainty.

  29. BigBob

    What did I tell you?! What did I tell you?!
    Did anyone in Alberta see anything?
    CBC aren’t telling us much yet.
    Wish I was in Alberta now.

  30. ellie

    “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 satellite was passing eastward over Canada and Africa as well as vast portions of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans during that period. The precise re-entry time and location are not yet known with certainty.”

  31. Ron1

    Last NASA update had UARS atmosphere entry over Pacific. BBC carrying unconfirmed report of debris near Okotoks, Alberta Canada.

    I’m in Red Deer (160KM north of Okotoks), have clear skies and an unobstructed horizon to the south from an elevated location and, although I’ve been watching for hours, haven’t seen anything other than normal stuff.

    How about you people in Calgary, did you see anything?



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