ROXAS City (Sept 26)— A suspected piece of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has fallen onto Panay, Capiz on the evening of Saturday, September 24.
A silver-colored metal was found by Fatima Villanueva in her house in Brgy. Daga in the town.
Villanueva said she got surprised when she saw the lit material — shaped like a tin can — plunge onto her house.
Describing the metal as “hot with wires inside,” Villanueva said she will turn over the material to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to be studied.
DOST-Capiz officer-in-charge Jerby Dellava vowed to investigate to confirm if the material was indeed a piece of the fallen NASA satellite.
Launched in 1991, the UARS aims to measure the ozone layer and other atmospheric conditions. It ran out of fuel and died in 2005.
The 6-ton satellite — as big as a bus — was said to be the biggest NASA spacecraft to crash back to Earth, uncontrolled, since the post-Apollo 75-ton Skylab space station and the more than 10-ton Pegasus 2 satellite, both in 1979.
Unpredictably, it hurtled toward Earth and crossed over Africa and the northern Atlantic before likely plunging into the Pacific Ocean off California, NASA said on Saturday.
It fell between 11:23 p.m. Friday and 1:09 a.m. Saturday (0323-0509 GMT Saturday), the space agency earlier said. No sightings or reliable accounts of damage have been reported yet.
Space junk scientists in NASA believe that all or nearly all of the satellite’s parts safely plunged into the Pacific Ocean, likely missing land.
NASA maintained that the possibility of harm on people on land was remote. The satellite was expected to break into 26 pieces as it plummeted toward Earth, with surviving parts including titanium fuel tanks, beryllium housing and stainless steel batteries and wheel rims./P