Image description: This conceptual image shows the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, launched on Sept. 15, 1991, by the space shuttle Discovery.
NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, is expected to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere this weekend, almost six years after the end of a productive scientific life. Although the spacecraft will break into pieces during re-entry, not all of it will burn up in the atmosphere.
The risk to public safety or property is extremely small, and safety is NASA’s top priority. Since the beginning of the Space Age in the late-1950s, there have been no confirmed reports of an injury resulting from re-entering space objects. Nor is there a record of significant property damage resulting from a satellite re-entry.
It is too early to say exactly when UARS will re-enter and what geographic area may be affected, but NASA is watching the satellite closely and will keep you informed.