This week, it’s time for an update on “the most toxic falling satellite ever.” As it turns out, the probe is still in orbit, though scientists now have a better idea of where the probe might fall if it is not incinerated by the Earth’s atmosphere upon reentry. Present calculations indicate that the probe should fall somewhere between the 51st degrees of north and south latitudinal lines. This encompasses all of Australia.
The probe is still currently orbiting Earth at 30,000 kilometers per hour. This means that if the calculations about the probe’s predicted landing site are off by just twenty minutes, the probe could land 10,000 km away from the predicted site.
Fortunately, however, scientists have grown more optimistic that the probe will disintegrate upon entry, so there is little cause for concern. According to Australia’s Spaceinfo.com.au editor Jonathan Nally, “These chemicals are just lethal, very nasty, but we should be safe from them because of the incredible heat of re-entry. After all, this stuff is meant to burn and this probe doesn’t have heat shields.”
It looks like we can all begin to relax after all.