Thursday, September 22, 2011

Look, up in the sky! It's a [BOOM!]

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, there's a crisp fall feel to the air, and everything seems at peace in the world. And then you hear that a six-ton space satellite will be hurtling to earth any day now. Figures.

Before we all panic (as we are wont to do), there are a few things to keep in mind: Yes, scientists say that the potential strike zone "covers most of Earth." But "most" is not "all." So there's that.

As for your own chances of being waylaid by a hunk of space debris, here's what the experts have to say:
The satellite will break into pieces, and NASA put the chances that somebody somewhere on Earth will get hurt at 1 in 3,200. But any one person's odds of being struck have been estimated at 1 in 21 trillion.
Which are pretty good odds, unless you happen to be that one guy. And given that some of those pieces could be a good 300 pounds, according to estimates, it may be worth heading underground, just in case, lest you risk going out on a stroll and being turned into a pancake by the space metal equivalent of these guys.

Meanwhile, a small part of me hopes the thing lands here on the North Shore of Mass., just for bragging rights. Just as long as it doesn't hit anything historic.

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