If the recent news about an old unused 6.5 ton satellite falling to earth today did anything, it was to highlight the fact that NASA and other organizations have tons of “stuff” orbiting planet earth, and apparently have no way of controlling or even accurately predicting where it will land on earth. If it comes down. And you know the old adage, “what goes up, must come down.”
NASA didn’t seem to worried about the satellite that re-entered the earth’s atmosphere this weekend on it’s way back to earth. If they were worried, the news reporters didn’t really grasp the signifigance of it.
And to put it in perspective, according to scientists, all kinds of “space stuff” lands on earth all the time, mostly without issue. The chief scientist from NASA’s Orbital Debris Program said that the threat of this most recent satellite return was “minimal” and that “statistically, the odds are good the debris will land in an ocean or some other sparsely populated area.”
Uh-huh…good thing considering it was expected that any debris that didn’t burn up in re-entry would likely scatter within an area of 500 miles in length. You and I can only hope that it lands somewhere at least 501 miles away from us.
One reason for the apparent lack of concern for you and me being hit by falling space junk is that the earth is covered with a lot of ocean, and most of the stuff lands in the ocean, or as the NASA scientists say, “a sparsely populated area”
Kind of makes me reconsider living at the cottage as it’s location could be considered “sparsely populated” and therefore, reading between the lines, those of us living in sparsely populated cottage country might be deemed…well…collateral damage, if not expendable.
What’s more, from what I can gather from the news reports, even though the satellite has now landed on earth, the scientists at NASA don’t know where the Hell it came down !! What?? They don’t know where it is? I guess nobody called to say that their house and every house around for 500 miles is now a crater, so the scientists are left scratching their heads and staring at Google Maps on their computers, looking for craters and satellite parts.
Think about that for a second…ok…done thinking about it. I bet you are now wondering what the heck is going on? A 6.5 ton satellite came back to earth, the people in charge had apparently no control over where it landed and now that it landed they don’t have any idea where it is….If you are not wondering, you friggin’ well should be, or else you, my friend, and I mean this in the nicest kind of way, you Sir…or Madam, whatever the case may be…you are an idiot.
Sure, statistically the chances are good this space stuff will land in the ocean, but what if it doesn’t? Would we be prepared? Sure doesn’t sound like it. Nope…not prepared…just obliterated.
Nothing happened this time, or at least as far as we know, but what about the next one? Are they going to watch this stuff come crashing back to earth calmly telling you and I not to worry, statistically, we will “probably” be safe?
Can’t ya just see them watching it coming toward earth? A group of scientists with crew cut haircuts, wearing black plastic framed glasses, lab coats and pocket protectors, leaning over a computer screen watching the satellite approaching, then as they lose sight of it someone says, “Well that’s that. Anyone wanna go for a drink?”
Well…What do you think? Are you an idiot?
Satellite Pic: Wilkipedia Media: Creative Commons
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