NASA News: NASA's UARS Re-Enters Earth's Atmosphere

WASHINGTON - NASA's decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite
(UARS) fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and
1:09 a.m. Sept. 24, 20 years and nine days after its launch on a
14-year mission that produced some of the first long-term records of
chemicals in the atmosphere.

The precise re-entry time and location of debris impacts have not been
determined. During the re-entry period, the satellite passed from the
east coast of Africa over the Indian Ocean, then the Pacific Ocean,
then across northern Canada, then across the northern Atlantic Ocean,
to a point over West Africa. The vast majority of the orbital transit
was over water, with some flight over northern Canada and West Africa.

Six years after the end of its productive scientific life, UARS broke
into pieces during re-entry, and most of it up burned in the
atmosphere. Data indicates the satellite likely broke apart and
landed in the Pacific Ocean far off the U.S. coast. Twenty-six
satellite components, weighing a total of about 1,200 pounds, could
have survived the fiery re-entry and reach the surface of Earth.
However, NASA is not aware of any reports of injury or property damage.

The Operations Center for JFCC-Space, the Joint Functional Component
Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., which works around the
clock detecting, identifying and tracking all man-made objects in
Earth orbit, tracked the movements of UARS through the satellite's
final orbits and provided confirmation of re-entry.

"We extend our appreciation to the Joint Space Operations Center for
monitoring UARS not only this past week but also throughout its
entire 20 years on orbit," said Nick Johnson, NASA's chief scientist
for orbital debris, at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "This
was not an easy re-entry to predict because of the natural forces
acting on the satellite as its orbit decayed. Space-faring nations
around the world also were monitoring the satellite's descent in the
last two hours and all the predictions were well within the range
estimated by JSpOC."

UARS was launched Sept. 12, 1991, aboard space shuttle mission STS-48
and deployed on Sept. 15, 1991. It was the first multi-instrumented
satellite to observe numerous chemical components of the atmosphere
for better understanding of photochemistry. UARS data marked the
beginning of many long-term records for key chemicals in the
atmosphere. The satellite also provided key data on the amount of
light that comes from the sun at ultraviolet and visible wavelengths.
UARS ceased its scientific life in 2005.

Because of the satellite's orbit, any surviving components of UARS
should have landed within a zone between 57 degrees north latitude
and 57 degrees south latitude. It is impossible to pinpoint just
where in that zone the debris landed, but NASA estimates the debris
footprint to be about 500 miles long.

For more information about UARS, visit:



NASA to Brief Industry on Space Launch System Procurement

WASHINGTON -- NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, agency
procurement officials, and Space Launch System Program managers will
meet with contractors and small-business entrepreneurs Sept. 29 for
the Space Launch System Industry Day at the Davidson Center for Space
Exploration in Huntsville, Ala.

NASA will brief industry representatives on the agency's acquisition
strategy for the Space Launch System program and provide an overview
of the program, its organization and specific vehicle requirements.
The event takes place from 7:55 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. CDT during the
Marshall Space Flight Center's quarterly Small Business Alliance
Meeting. It will provide small business leaders a forum to discuss
opportunities with representatives of NASA and large prime contractors.

Media representatives interested in attending Industry Day should
contact Dan Kanigan at 256-544-0034 no later than 4 p.m. CDT,
Wednesday, Sept. 28. The Davidson Center is located at One
Tranquility Base in Huntsville.

Marshall is leading design and development of the Space Launch System
for NASA. The new heavy-lift launch vehicle will take astronauts
beyond low-Earth orbit and enable new exploration missions across the
solar system. The first full-scale SLS test flight is targeted for 2017.

NASA Industry Day speakers will include Garver; Marshall Center
Director Robert Lightfoot; Glenn Delgado, associate administrator of
NASA's Office of Small Business Programs in Washington; Todd May,
director of NASA's Space Launch System Program Office; Kim Whitson,
deputy director of Marshall's Office of Procurement; and Earl
Pendley, manager of the Space Transportation Support Office in
Marshall's Office of Procurement.

To view Industry Day live on NASA TV's education channel visit:


For information about NASA's Space Launch System development effort, visit:



NASA's Space Shuttle Crew Members Host Tweetup in Washington

WASHINGTON -- NASA invites its Twitter followers to a special Tweetup
with Sandy Magnus and Chris Ferguson at 4 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct.
13. The event will be in the James E. Webb Memorial Auditorium at
NASA Headquarters, 300 E St. SW, Washington.

Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, Mission Specialists
Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim were the crew of the space shuttle
Atlantis for the 13-day STS-135 mission. Atlantis launched July 8 and
landed July 21, completing NASA's final space shuttle mission, after
a journey of more than five million miles.

The crew delivered more than 9,400 pounds of spare parts, equipment
and other supplies in the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module --
including 2,677 pounds of food -- that will sustain space station
operations for the next year.

The 21-foot long, 15-foot diameter Raffaello brought back nearly 5,700
pounds of unneeded materials from the station. STS-135 was the 135th
and final shuttle flight.

A Tweetup is an informal meeting of people who use the social
messaging medium Twitter. This NASA Tweetup is an opportunity to meet
and speak with STS-135 crew members, the people behind NASA's Twitter
account and other space-exploration-minded participants.

Registration for the event is open from 10 a.m. EDT, Thursday, Sept.
29, until 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30. NASA randomly will select 150
participants from online registrants. For more NASA Tweetup
information and to sign up, visit:


To connect with NASA on Twitter and other social networking sites, visit:


All four of Atlantis' crew members are posting updates to Twitter. You
can follow Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission
Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim at:





For more information about shuttle Atlantis' STS-135 mission, visit:



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