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The defunct September 27, 2011The Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite is now predicted to fall to Earth around September 23, a day earlier than previously reportedTwo well-publicized satellite falls a month apart got me wondering: Is this the new normal? After all, there is plenty of junk in orbit, and it can’t stay up there forever.NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite will fall out of orbit soon, with large pieces perhaps reaching Earth's surface, according to NASA's Nick Johnson at a telephone press conference. John Matson reportsOrbital debris hits Earth daily, but NASA says not to worryThe exact timing and location of ROSAT's atmospheric reentry are uncertainAlthough it can be tough for observers in the West to vet such claims from the Russians, fears that Phobos-Grunt's fall would cause dangerous chemicals to rain from the sky are probably unfounded, experts sayHere's a rundown of the top 11 spaceflight stories of 2011, from the last mission of NASA's venerable space shuttle program to China's first-ever docking of two spaceships in Earth orbitAt most, 20 to 30 fragments of Phobos-Grunt, weighing a total of less than 200 kilograms, may reach Earth’s surface, most likely the ocean
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