Columbia Data Aids Sat Re-entry Planning, Aviation Week & Space Technology
"Re-entry debris data and analysis derived from the space shuttle Columbia accident is being applied to Pentagon studies of how much of the failed National Reconnaissance Office NROL-21 spacecraft will survive re-entry heating and strike Earth in late February or early March. Several hundred pounds of spacecraft debris could land anywhere between 58.5 deg. north and south latitude. The orbit overflies all of the world's most populated areas. But statistically, the debris is far more likely to land harmlessly in an ocean, since water underlies more than 90 percent of the ground track."