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crymomma September 11th, 2011 03:39 PM

Piece of falling satellite could hit you -- but it's not likely
This computer-generated graphic shows space junk in Earth's orbit. Satellite debris could fall anywhere between northern Canada and southern South America. / NASA via Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Try to remain calm.
You are one of roughly 7 billion people who could be struck by a jagged piece of metal from a dead NASA satellite tumbling from space later this month.
Statistically, there's a 1 in 3,200 chance someone could be hit by one of the 26 objects -- the biggest, more than 300 pounds -- expected to crash into Earth's surface, at possibly hundreds of miles per hour.
But NASA says the odds that person will be you are far more remote, and it's much likelier that remnants of the nearly 12,500-pound Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite will drop harmlessly into an ocean or desolate region. There's "a very, very low probability of anyone being hurt or anyone's ******** being damaged," said Nick Johnson, chief scientist for NASA's Orbital Debris Program at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Then why all the fuss?

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