Gotta Watch: The sky is falling
NASA graphic of the UAR satellite
September 23rd, 2011
09:30 AM ET

Gotta Watch: The sky is falling

NASA has announced that it expects a defunct satellite to tumble to Earth today, but scientists can't say exactly when or where. That's got some people worried. This isn't the first time that space junk has fallen from the sky, though. Gotta Watch brings you some of our favorites.

The clock is ticking – NASA says that a satellite will re-enter the atmosphere sometime today. More than two dozen pieces will remain intact and fall to the ground. CNN's John Zarrella looks at where it might hit.

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Free-falling – In September 2004, the Genesis space capsule, which was studying the sun, returned to Earth. The only problem - the parachute didn't open. The crash caused the samples that had been collected to be contaminated. Watch the spectacular plunge.

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Like a lead balloon – Balloons can cause major damage when they're the size of a football field. This NASA balloon crashed during takeoff in April 2010, smashing into a car and sending one man running for his life.

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Filed under: Earth • Gotta Watch • NASA • Space
soundoff (46 Responses)

    plop goes the muffin

    September 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Butt-munchlolz121

      I think that this John person should learn how to respect the fact that he is not the only one with a higher intelligence and stop and say, "hey, why am I such a dick to people who aren't as smart or sophisticated as me?". Well because John is your typical American male, thinks he's better than everything/body.

      September 23, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. deedee

    and so this could potentially be ummm another chernobyl? sad we dont have the capability to prevent such a disaster before it strikes. yes my scenario isn't likely, but it's possible. This is sort of the same situation as the oil leaking in the gulf. Hmmm, Sorry, we didnt have the proper prevention/damage control in place to prevent such a problem or the know-how to fix an issue like this. Shouldn't you have a plan NASA, before you put big stuff like this up in space? safety first, science second. not vice versa at the cost of human lives.. potentially!

    September 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      DeeDee, DeeDee, DeeDee: Before worrying yourself over whether or not NASA knows what it's doing, maybe you should look a little closer at your own abysmal writing. Forget about NASA and its alleged incompetence and pick up a book on basic English composition. Your paragraph above is so poorly written that it's almost unreadable. At the very least, your grammar is so terrible that it distracts the reader from paying any attention to what it is you're trying to say.

      September 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      John...her paragraph isn't that bad. It could be better but doesn't really warrant criticism IMO. I see much worse compositions daily.

      September 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • hanoirox

      deedee mocks what she doesnt understand

      September 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Oh, of course your nickname is Thot, right John? Thot being the god of writing, (google it). Peanut gallery comments are just that, opinions from anybody, no matter how literate or illiterate they are. As such, criticism of another persons writing style and/or abilities is a moot point and obviously off topic in this case.

      September 23, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Desiree

      Wow, Looks like John needs a life. Took the time out of his day to talk some S***. Does it make you feel better about yourself insulting others John?

      September 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • moish

      No need to poke fun at grammar John, it's just the internets. And DeeDee, as far as calling this another Chernobyl, I think that is a slight hyperbole. The chances of this causing any damage, human or otherwise, are very small. Just because CNN reports that NASA has "no idea" where it will hit, doesn't mean they are just sitting around waiting for it to fall. I'm sure they have worked out this scenario plenty of times. It's just the media getting people worried again.

      Once more, John...grow up.

      September 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. STNM

    I hope it hits Westboro Baptist Church, while they're all inside making hate signs.

    September 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fred

    This is a joke. Three videos and you have to watch 1 1/2 minutes of commercials. NOT ME

    September 23, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeremiah

    John, John, John: This isn't all about you! We are talking about a 6 ton satellite that is falling into our atmosphere in 26 pieces and could possible crash into your home. Of course the odds are only 1 out of 3400 but hey you might get lucky! So for now on when you decide to pick on someones comment that you don't have any business doing you might think twice!

    September 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. boogietime

    If it crashes on my house NASA, I will want it to be fixed with some awesome space age materials, and throw in a couple of full O2 tanks for me.

    September 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    @jenlaw ur a michigander too? kewl! and i got the perfect spot picked out 4 it to land but actually we are a long ways from the pacific ocean where they say most of it will hit! dang it! lol

    September 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gung hoe

    @ chrissey what you mad at me

    September 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. gung hoe

    Cause you left other site without even saying bye

    September 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Karma Police

    Hopefully it lands where it's meant to...

    September 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chrissy

    i could never be mad at u no i had a phone call

    September 23, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chrissy

    gung hoe im not mad hun but gotta run now. gotta go babysit but ill be back on shortly ok

    September 23, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. micheal

    It should land in iraq.

    September 24, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. micheal

    I hope it hits my old neihbors house

    September 24, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
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