UARS Update: NASA Still Doesn't Know Where it Landed

NASA's dead satellite falls, starting over Pacific, AP

"NASA's dead 6-ton satellite plunged to Earth early Saturday, but more than eight hours later, U.S. space officials didn't know just where it hit."

Jonathan's Space Report No. 647 2011 Sep 25

"I would have expected the DSP missile early warning satellites to have detected infrared radiation from the entry - they do keep a close watch on the eastern Pacific in case of a submarine-launched missile attack on the US. It is a bit surprising to me that there's apparently no information from that source - or at least none that's been admitted."

Keith's note: This is just a little too odd. Something this large, with a demise so widely anticipated well in advance, the subject of international coordination among space agencies - and no one knows where it hit? NASA declined to have someone from the DoD (Joint Space Operations Center - JSpOC) on its weekend teleconference - yet NASA's expert, Nick Johnson, repeatedly claimed that the effort to track the satellite's reentry was a "success". When asked (by me) about the used of the term "success" in the media telecon, NASA PAO's Beth Dickey blocked Johnson from answering.

I find it rather unlikely that DoD/Intelligence "assets" in orbit and on the ground were unable to track and pinpoint the demise of UARS. Videos taken from locations that were along the UARS' final ground track have appeared on YouTube but NASA says nothing about them. 36 60 hours after the reentry of UARS and neither NASA or JSpOC have still said anything more definitive about its impact site or the veracity of videos and other sightings. The FAA issued a NOTAM for the UARS re-entry that asks pilots to report anything they might see with regard to UARS. The FAA has not responded as to whether any reports were received.

There is more to this story than NASA is willing/able to discuss.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on September 26, 2011 4:11 PM.

SpaceX Is Building the "Grasshopper" RLV was the previous entry in this blog.

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