SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — NASA said it is not aware of any injuries or property damage from a defunct 6-ton satellite that has fallen from the sky.
The agency posted on its website that the spacecraft crashed through the atmosphere early Saturday morning somewhere over the north Pacific Ocean. An exact location was not known.
Most of it was believed to have burned up. The satellite was visible in the skies over California as it entered the atmosphere.
The Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite was NASA’s biggest spacecraft to tumble out of orbit, uncontrolled, in 32 years.
UARS was launched aboard space shuttle Discovery in 1991. NASA decommissioned the satellite in 2005, after moving it into a lower orbit that cut its life short by two decades.
Bits of space junk re-enter the atmosphere often. No injuries have ever been reported from it.
(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)