Nasa satellite fell in South Pacific areas

New US Air Force calculations put the 6-tonne satellite’s death plunge early on Saturday thousands of kilometres from northwestern North America, where there were reports of sightings. Instead, it plunged into areas where remote islands dot a vast ocean.

Nasa says those new calculations show the 20-year-old satellite entered the earth’s atmosphere generally above American Samoa. But falling debris as it broke apart did not start hitting the water for another 480 kilometres to the northeast, southwest of Christmas Island, just after midnight EDT on Saturday.

Experts believe about two dozen metal pieces from the bus-sized satellite fell over a 800-kilometre span.  “It’s a relatively uninhabited portion of the world, very remote,” Nasa orbital debris scientist Mark Matney said. “This is certainly a good spot in terms of risk.” Scientists who track space junk couldn’t be happier with the result.

“That’s the way it should be. I think that’s perfect,” said Bill Ailor, director of the Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies at the Aerospace Corp. “It’s just as good as it gets.”

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