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Spy Satellite Expected to Return to Earth Soon

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Spy Satellite Expected to Return to Earth Soon

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Spy Satellite Expected to Return to Earth Soon

Spy Satellite Expected to Return to Earth Soon

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/18456141/18456113" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Liane Hansen calms listeners' fears about a spy satellite that is expected to re-enter the earth's atmosphere as early as next month. Officials are hoping for a water landing.

LIANE HANSEN, host:

One more story to consider today. A 20,000-pound spy satellite has lost power and could plunge to Earth in late February or March. Federal officials say they have no control over the satellite, and they don't know where the debris might end up. The satellite is likely to burn up during reentry, but there's concern that it could contain hydrazine fuel, which may be hazardous to people on the ground. This isn't the first time a space craft has fallen out of the sky. In 1979, NASA's Skylab Space Station fell from orbit, and its debris dropped into the Indian Ocean. And more recently, in the year 2000, NASA maneuvered a satellite to a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. This time around, officials are hoping for another water landing.

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