Earth to satellite: When and where will you hit?

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA scientists are doing their best to tell us where a plummeting 6-ton satellite will fall later this week. It’s just that if they’re off a little bit, it could mean the difference between hitting Florida or New York. Or, say, Iran or India.

Pinpointing where and when hurtling space debris will strike is an imprecise science. For now, scientists predict the earliest it will hit is Thursday U.S. time, while the latest is Saturday.

Over the years, space debris has fallen into the ocean or empty spaces. This satellite will break into pieces, and scientists put the odds of it hitting someone at 1-in-3,200.

Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics says he is not worried because heavy space debris falls almost every year.

Source: Associated Press