• Sweden's news in English

Falling satellite could hit Sweden: experts

Karen Holst · 17 Sep 2011, 11:43

Published: 17 Sep 2011 11:43 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

An out of use 6.5-tonne Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, known in the science circles as UARS, is expected to fall from orbit late next week and it could strike Sweden.

While most of the satellite is expected to burn up after it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, NASA projects that about 545 kilogrammes of pieces will survive and plunge somewhere on the globe spanning a 500-mile radius.

Experts cannot forecast the exact locations of landfall, but based on the satellite’s current orbit and inclination, the strike zone is calculated to be somewhere between 57 degrees north and 57 degrees south of the equator, according to NASA.

Sweden extends between the 55th and 69th northern latitudes, which theoretically puts everything south of Gothenburg at risk, but NASA experts say the risk is considered minimal and calculate that it is a 1-in-3,200 chance that piece would actually hit a person.

The likely strike zone is a worldwide swath that covers most of the planet’s six inhabited continents and three oceans.

Since the dawn of the 1950s Space Age, there have been no confirmed reports of injury from re-entering space objects.

UARS, which ran out of gas in 2005, was originally deployed in 1991 from the Discovery space shuttle.

Its nearly 5 billion kronor ($750 million) mission was to study Earth’s atmosphere and its interactions with the sun by measuring the concentrations and distributions of gases vital to ozone depletion, climate change and other atmospheric phenomena.

Story continues below…

According to NASA, readings from the satellite provided conclusive evidence that human-produced chlorofluorcarbons released into the atmosphere is the root cause of the polar ozone hole.

Karen Holst (kholstmedia@gmail.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:08 September 17, 2011 by Svensksmith
Look out Rosengård, here it comes.
14:56 September 17, 2011 by Already in use
1 in 3,200??! You got to be kidding? I mean, look, are there even so many Swedes in Sweden? I suspect you got some zeros missing there.
18:06 September 17, 2011 by skosbo
I think those are the odds of hitting anyone on the whole planet, NASA have said they dont know where it will hit, not it might hit sweden!! Quality reporting!
18:36 September 17, 2011 by Scansson
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:01 September 17, 2011 by Nemesis
More like a billion to one, if not higher odds.

To the so called journalists that wrote this. Grow up and stop trying to copy fox news. This is just a fear and hysteria story, nothing else.

Most likely this probe will hit an ocean, assuming it does not completely burn up on re-entry.

Anything that hits the ground will be in such small pieces as to be negligable rish to anyone or anything.
20:16 September 17, 2011 by Scepticion
well, here is a piece of better reporting. The original said i could fall anywhere on Earth, not "threatens Sweden". Anyway, I like the part where it says

"The 1 in 3,200 risk to public safety is higher than the 1 in 10,000 limit that Nasa aims for." Sounds like something the Swedish government document could have come up with.
22:23 September 17, 2011 by Acroyear
I take issue with the likes of Nemesis playing down the risks.

I was leaning over the balcony one evening, minding my own business and having a quite ciggie when suddenly a bit of satellite fell from above, narrowly missing my head!

Now the flippin landlord wants to ban them. But who wants to fork out for cable eh? Not me!
22:41 September 17, 2011 by Dr. Dillner
I think those were the odds of "striking a populated area" not the odds of one individual being struck.
22:45 September 17, 2011 by DavidtheNorseman
"According to NASA, readings from the satellite provided conclusive evidence that human-produced chlorofluorcarbons released into the atmosphere is the root cause of the polar ozone hole."

Norwegian Nobel Prize winner Prof. Ivan Giaever just resigned from the APS over this last ongoing fraud last week. A good read over at Investors(dot)com under, "A Successful Fraud".
23:03 September 17, 2011 by TheOchochxina
Karen Holst - it seems that you are the author of this article.

Let me tell you something . . . Topic of this article is 100% misleading. "somewhere between 57 degrees north and 57 degrees south of the equator" this is a whole populated world, not just SWEDEN. and MOST PROBABLY most of parts will be burned.

00:10 September 18, 2011 by Scepticion
Actually, I meant to link to this more informative BBC article:


@ocochxina, they just copied the silly headline from aftonbladet without any cross-check, even though better English sources were available.
00:46 September 18, 2011 by bogg
@Scepticion: Actually, Aftonbladet copied it from here, not the other way around.
08:45 September 18, 2011 by Da Goat
at those odds you will be killed before you win the lottery! Shame.

probably worth going out to see if it can be seen happening!
11:13 September 18, 2011 by Bender B Rodriquez
"strike zone is calculated to be somewhere between 57 degrees north and 57 degrees south of the equator"

So basically anywhere in the world then... This must be the stupidest article I've read...
11:26 September 18, 2011 by axiom
this is a most misleading article...
12:04 September 18, 2011 by big5
"ran out of gas"

What kind of serious journalist writes like that of a satellite?
17:02 September 18, 2011 by jostein
Can we sue?
22:10 September 18, 2011 by islamist
some people here are just heartless.....how cud you wish harm apoun another human being, seriously people.....dont let haterd blindside you, there cud be wonderfull people living there.....is like me saying the whole of östermalm is filled with hoes and redneck......GOD people get a grip
22:38 September 18, 2011 by glenquagmaire
Get rackets and play your best shot when you see one coming down...
08:40 September 19, 2011 by comentatir

Best comment!
08:50 September 19, 2011 by karex
Actually Nemesis, even the smallest piece of space debris (pea-sized) could kill, at the speed it comes at you. Consider a bullet, for instance.
10:59 September 20, 2011 by Shibumi
Since almost all of Sweden is north of the expected impact zone, the headline should read: "Sweden among least likely places to be impacted by next week's satellite debris." But would any of us have clicked on that headline, I wonder...
11:09 September 20, 2011 by J Jack
has that godamn satellite arrived yet? How the hell did NASA get a Plymouth in space anyhow?
11:49 September 20, 2011 by Matewis
Wait. So because a small part of Sweden falls inside the Strike zone, which also happens to include roughly 60 percent of all the countries on earth, TL has to publish an article saying that it might hit Sweden. It's about as likely as me winning the Postkodlotteriet before I retire....

My money says that it will fall in an ocean somewhere, and TL's bottom of the barrel journalism would have been for nothing... again.

Oh, and please stop calling that wikipedia junkie in TL's basement and "Expert"...
10:57 September 24, 2011 by Rick Methven
OK to take off the crash helmets folks!

It fell down this morning over the Pacific.

NASA are not quite sure exactly when and where but Sweden has been saved!!
Today's headlines
Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available