NASA satellite could land anywhere

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NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Angua » Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:33 am UTC

Nasa satellite UARS nearing Earth 'could land anywhere'

Apparently it's due to land on the 24th and the Nasa scientists will only have a better idea of where 2 hours before it hits. Risk to the public is 1/3,200 rather than their preferred 1/10,000

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Magnanimous » Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:24 am UTC

... Well crap. o_O

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:57 pm UTC

I hope it lands in my backyard. Dibs!

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Sizik » Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:10 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I hope it lands in my backyard. Dibs!


Unfortunately,

Members of the public are not allowed to keep pieces of the satellite that may fall to Earth, or sell them on eBay, as they remain the property of the US government.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Djehutynakht » Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:54 pm UTC

I may not be able to keep it, but I may be able to examine it before the black truck arrives.

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Tirian » Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:08 pm UTC

:| Frankly, I think that if the American government is going to be so careless with their satellites as to allow them to fall to Earth willy-nilly then they can damned well buy the pieces off eBay. It's like shooting someone and then suing them for stealing your bullet.

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Maurog » Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:23 pm UTC

Are countries allowed to blast it off the air with their anti-missile and/or anti-meteorite defenses?
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Enokh » Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

If that thing lands anywhere near me they can pry the pieces of it from my cold dead fingers.

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Diadem » Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:52 pm UTC

Sizik wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:I hope it lands in my backyard. Dibs!


Unfortunately,

Members of the public are not allowed to keep pieces of the satellite that may fall to Earth, or sell them on eBay, as they remain the property of the US government.

That's not how property rights work. You can't just throw your junk anywhere and then claim ownership. If it falls in my backyard I have salvage rights.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby aldonius » Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:40 pm UTC

Especially if it lands somewhere which doesn't have incredibly good law enforcement or particularly care for the US.

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Zamfir » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:14 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
Sizik wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:I hope it lands in my backyard. Dibs!


Unfortunately,

Members of the public are not allowed to keep pieces of the satellite that may fall to Earth, or sell them on eBay, as they remain the property of the US government.

That's not how property rights work. You can't just throw your junk anywhere and then claim ownership. If it falls in my backyard I have salvage rights.

Arguably, the US government is the single entity for which they do work that way.

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:03 am UTC

The US government can take your property with compensation, yeah? But this was the case with skylab, and only the unluckiest cow ever died.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:36 am UTC

I hope the toilet seat doesn't land on me.

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:12 am UTC

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:I hope the toilet seat doesn't land on me.

It's unmanned.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Thesh » Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:27 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Diadem wrote:
Sizik wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:I hope it lands in my backyard. Dibs!


Unfortunately,

Members of the public are not allowed to keep pieces of the satellite that may fall to Earth, or sell them on eBay, as they remain the property of the US government.

That's not how property rights work. You can't just throw your junk anywhere and then claim ownership. If it falls in my backyard I have salvage rights.

Arguably, the US government is the single entity for which they do work that way.


Although, for those of you outside the US, I don't think the US has a case.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Tirian » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:10 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:I hope the toilet seat doesn't land on me.

It's unmanned.


So at least the toilet seat will be clean.

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:59 am UTC

Tirian wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:I hope the toilet seat doesn't land on me.

It's unmanned.
So at least the toilet seat will be clean.
It'll make the last word-and-a-half (oh shi-) a bit less applicable, though.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Garm » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:10 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:I hope the toilet seat doesn't land on me.

It's unmanned.


Also about the size of a school bus. The shuttle's bay had to be specially modified for it to fit. For a while, UARS was the largest man made object in the sky other than the various space stations. It was a remarkably successful mission. It was supposed to last for three years. When I started working on the data produced by the Solstice project, there were still three instruments (out of ten, I think) still functioning on the vehicle (Solistice being one of them). Hopefully it won't land on anything. It'd be an ignominious end to what was otherwise a great project.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby omgryebread » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:31 am UTC

Thesh wrote:Although, for those of you outside the US, I don't think the US has a case.
If it lands in an allied country, they might have a case to take it and give it to the US. If it lands in an unfriendly country, they'd probably want their intelligence agencies to take a look, and a lot of those countries probably aren't too concerned about property rights.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Garm » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:40 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:
Thesh wrote:Although, for those of you outside the US, I don't think the US has a case.
If it lands in an allied country, they might have a case to take it and give it to the US. If it lands in an unfriendly country, they'd probably want their intelligence agencies to take a look, and a lot of those countries probably aren't too concerned about property rights.


I'm guessing intelligence agencies don't give a crap about a science satellite launched in 1991.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby omgryebread » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:49 am UTC

Garm wrote:
omgryebread wrote:
Thesh wrote:Although, for those of you outside the US, I don't think the US has a case.
If it lands in an allied country, they might have a case to take it and give it to the US. If it lands in an unfriendly country, they'd probably want their intelligence agencies to take a look, and a lot of those countries probably aren't too concerned about property rights.


I'm guessing intelligence agencies don't give a crap about a science satellite launched in 1991.
I'm guessing said intelligence agencies aren't going to take the US's word that it's a science satellite.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Sharlos » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:34 am UTC

I'm pretty sure the idea that the claim that the satellite belongs to the US government no matter where it lands is a consequence of one of (the?) space treaty. It stipulates that whatever you put up into orbit still belongs to even after it lands in another country, but you are responsible for paying for any damages and costs related to retrieval incurred by the other country.

Some of the details may be wrong, though.

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Box Boy » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:36 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Although, for those of you outside the US, I don't think the US has a case.

I'd imagine that in Western countries/non-3rd World countries in general their governments would gladly hand it back over, rather than risk looking like dicks and/or thieves.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Wodashin » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:12 am UTC

Watch it land in Pakistan.

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Steax » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:19 am UTC

Enokh wrote:If that thing lands anywhere near me they can pry the pieces of it from my cold dead fingers.


I'm pretty sure this would apply to anyone, unless they happen to sport a blastproof armor beforehand.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Garm » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:35 am UTC

I think the warning about UARS is really a first world problem. People in the U.S. are going to sell it on Ebay because someone out there would want a piece of history. In Pakistan, pieces would be dragged somewhere and sold as scrap metal.

I'd be incredibly surprised if UARS was conspiracy worthy. They let a bunch of students run the damn thing and a lot of it was built in an old clean room in Boulder, CO.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby johnny_7713 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:19 am UTC

Garm wrote:I think the warning about UARS is really a first world problem. People in the U.S. are going to sell it on Ebay because someone out there would want a piece of history. In Pakistan, pieces would be dragged somewhere and sold as scrap metal.

I'd be incredibly surprised if UARS was conspiracy worthy. They let a bunch of students run the damn thing and a lot of it was built in an old clean room in Boulder, CO.


People have made (sometimes quite elaborate) conspiracy theories about the emission of H2O produced in the burning of fossil fuels at high altitudes and about the natural instinct of sharks to nom on some yummy human, so I wouldn't be to sure about that. Actual intelligence agencies will indeed probably not be interested.

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Evengeduld » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:42 am UTC

Imagine the conversation you'ld have with the local authority's when the thing crashes in your back yard. :)

People have made (sometimes quite elaborate) conspiracy theories


As long as there is a government there will be theories about the "classified above top secret" projects. No matter what it is about
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Dauric » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:17 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:
Garm wrote:
omgryebread wrote:
Thesh wrote:Although, for those of you outside the US, I don't think the US has a case.
If it lands in an allied country, they might have a case to take it and give it to the US. If it lands in an unfriendly country, they'd probably want their intelligence agencies to take a look, and a lot of those countries probably aren't too concerned about property rights.


I'm guessing intelligence agencies don't give a crap about a science satellite launched in 1991.
I'm guessing said intelligence agencies aren't going to take the US's word that it's a science satellite.


Even if the satellite itself isn't that technologically interesting (or won't be after impact), a the government of a country unfriendly to the U.S. would win PR points by being able to play "Keep Away" with the satellite parts from U.S. authorities. Preventing Americans from getting it back may not be about the satellite at all, but just a means to twerk Americans and show a willingness to defy a superpower.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby JBJ » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:46 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
Sizik wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:I hope it lands in my backyard. Dibs!
Unfortunately,
Members of the public are not allowed to keep pieces of the satellite that may fall to Earth, or sell them on eBay, as they remain the property of the US government.
That's not how property rights work. You can't just throw your junk anywhere and then claim ownership. If it falls in my backyard I have salvage rights.

Actually, that is how property rights work. If I accidentally hit my baseball into your yard, you don't get to keep the baseball if I come to claim it. If I don't come to claim it, then it is abandoned property and yours to keep.

Angua wrote:Apparently it's due to land on the 24th and the Nasa scientists will only have a better idea of where 2 hours before it hits. Risk to the public is 1/3,200 rather than their preferred 1/10,000
The ABC news report I saw on this had the reporter walking down the street and said (to the best of my recollection) "...your chance of getting hit, walking down the street just like this is {dramatic pause} 1 in 3200..." and he then went on to compare individual chances of getting in a car accident, struck by lightning, or winning the lottery. Very poor reporting.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Роберт » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:48 pm UTC

JBJ wrote:The ABC news report I saw on this had the reporter walking down the street and said (to the best of my recollection) "...your chance of getting hit, walking down the street just like this is {dramatic pause} 1 in 3200..." and he then went on to compare individual chances of getting in a car accident, struck by lightning, or winning the lottery. Very poor reporting.

That's hilarious. I hope you're remembering right.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Angua » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:54 pm UTC

:P There's a difference between the chance of it hitting anyone on earth (which the 1/3200 is) and the chance of it hitting you in particular (which I guess would be around 1/(6billion*3200)).

Oh well, it's better than the 50/50 chance of the LHC killing everyone (it either does, or it doesn't).
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby JBJ » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:10 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
JBJ wrote:The ABC news report I saw on this had the reporter walking down the street and said (to the best of my recollection) "...your chance of getting hit, walking down the street just like this is {dramatic pause} 1 in 3200..." and he then went on to compare individual chances of getting in a car accident, struck by lightning, or winning the lottery. Very poor reporting.

That's hilarious. I hope you're remembering right.

Turns out I was. Dan Harris, ABC World News
This wasn't a rinky-dink local news gaffe, this was network.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Steax » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:19 pm UTC

That gives me mental images of the satellite bouncing off the surface and back into space, and then back again, and back... and every time having a 1/3200 chance of hitting someone. Given it takes 1 hour to complete each bounce, it would take about... lets see... 2 billion years to kill everyone off.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:22 pm UTC

what if it lands in NK?

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby rigwarl » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:31 pm UTC

JBJ wrote:
Роберт wrote:
JBJ wrote:The ABC news report I saw on this had the reporter walking down the street and said (to the best of my recollection) "...your chance of getting hit, walking down the street just like this is {dramatic pause} 1 in 3200..." and he then went on to compare individual chances of getting in a car accident, struck by lightning, or winning the lottery. Very poor reporting.

That's hilarious. I hope you're remembering right.

Turns out I was. Dan Harris, ABC World News
This wasn't a rinky-dink local news gaffe, this was network.


Holy crap. I think he's trolling.

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Angua » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:34 pm UTC

Yeah, I don't think he realises that if you're chances of being hit were truly 1/3200 it would be almost certain that someone(s) is going to be hit when it comes down, which goes against nasa saying that anyone being hit at all is extremely unlikely.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Роберт » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:45 pm UTC

JBJ wrote:
Роберт wrote:
JBJ wrote:The ABC news report I saw on this had the reporter walking down the street and said (to the best of my recollection) "...your chance of getting hit, walking down the street just like this is {dramatic pause} 1 in 3200..." and he then went on to compare individual chances of getting in a car accident, struck by lightning, or winning the lottery. Very poor reporting.

That's hilarious. I hope you're remembering right.

Turns out I was. Dan Harris, ABC World News
This wasn't a rinky-dink local news gaffe, this was network.

I wonder how many people had to let that gaffe slip by?

He's definitely implying that, you, personally, are more likely to be hit by this than you are to be struck by lightning.
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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby Tirian » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:53 pm UTC

If this forum has taught us anything, it's that news editors either can't or won't exert reasonable control over their scientific reporting. It's positively routine for these sensational stories to be faced with severe skepticism or be outright debunked by someone with a single undergraduate semester in statistics or the relevant scientific field.

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Re: NASA satellite could land anywhere

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:25 am UTC

The other staple of science reporting is to interview an "expert" alongside some other guy with precisely zero background in the subject, in the name of "balanced debate". In this case, it'll probably be some luddite using the situation to argue that we should stop putting things in space.
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