terror from the skies

NASA Now Says Falling Satellite Will Maybe Destroy America Today

If you're old enough to remember this video game, you're too slow to outrun the satellite.Have you heard about that no-big-deal falling six-ton bus-sized satellite that wasn’t really a risk for the United States? Well, NASA just changed its story, and now the U.S. is in the path of destruction. The satellite will fall out of space in a few hours. It might break up into pieces that mostly slam into the oceans, and it might kill you and everyone you love. Then again, it might kill people you don’t love. So, think of it as your own erratic U.S. predator drone or Angel of Death.

NASA, our nation’s space program without a space program, updated its psychic predictions about the whole “orbital apocalypse” thing:

A satellite whose orbit is degrading will fall back to Earth Friday afternoon, with the United States once again a potential target, NASA said.

The U.S. space agency had been saying for two days that North America would not be not in the strike zone for about 26 pieces of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) expected to survive the descent. Those pieces, made of stainless steel, titanium and beryllium that won’t burn, range from about 10 pounds to hundreds of pounds, according to NASA.

And then, NASA put something on Twitter saying, “Eh, maybe it will fall Saturday and not Friday. We have no frickin’ clue.”

So, keep your eyes on the skies! Or don’t, as it won’t really matter one way or the other. What are you going to do, run away from several hundred pounds of red-hot metal shooting out of the sky? Fine, run. It’s never to late to get in shape or whatever! [CNN]

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne
What Others Are Reading

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.


        1. freakishlywrong

          Bonzo. He's not holding them up. He's "offsetting" them, so he can defund projects on a purely partisan basis.

    1. DustBowlBlues

      That was my first thought . With half the state on fire, if the satellite dropped on the office of the Southern Baptist Convention, do think the fundamentards would finally get how damned they are?

      1. Bonzos_Bed_Time

        I'm sure they would interpret it as a sign from Jehovah that they're not hating queers and women enough and need to ramp up their efforts.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        The Texas capitol is empty 95% of the time … they only get together every other year, to compare oil company payoffs and decide who's getting screwed for the next two years. (Heads, it's teachers, tails, it's Messicans.)

    2. Pristine_ODummy

      But not Austin. And please wait till Rick Perry's back, and then try to hit the exact spot he's standing on.

      1. valgal2342

        I don't know, I kind of like the idea of it crashing into the Westboro Baptist Church people while they're all having an orgy and then jacking itself off back into space with all those idiots on board and blows up again and again and again….fireworks for all!

    1. PubOption

      I have been known to read it, there's normally a copy in the departure lounge when I'm waiting for a plane.

      1. littlebigdaddy

        Or when you stay in a mid-range hotel, along with the free breakfast buffet. Does anyone actually buy it?

          1. GOPCrusher

            Maybe Juana will come forward with the photos of her, the burro, and Rick Perry having sexy time fun and claim the 1 million dollar bounty from Larry Flynt?

          2. Negropolis

            "Rick Perry would only marry Juana if she showed him the long-form 'Mur'can birf certificate his dick, first."


    1. mrpuma2u

      I, for one welcome our new cosmic debris random death dealing overlords. All hail the cruel and whimsical space junk masters!

    1. DustBowlBlues

      The third Texas comment, including my reply. I hope the Texican wonkeratti aren't getting their feelings hurt. On the other hand, at least it isn't OK that's being trashed. Boomer Sooner!

      1. GOPCrusher

        With Dan Beebe getting fired as Big 12 Commish, the Red River Shootout this year will involve real blood-letting.

  1. edgydrifter

    Given the people I dislike vastly outnumber the folks in my "like" group, I'd say the odds are looking pretty sweet right about now.

  2. skoalrebel

    Great! I'm sure it doesn't have proper entry permission. Another illegal immigrant come to fuck things up. [spit] Secure the border!

  3. bureaucrap

    If the satellite destroys "USA Today", what pablum will Marriott deposit at their hotels' room doors every morning "with our compliments"? Maybe something more accurate, like the National Enquirer.

  4. Barb

    I doubt that it will hit Wasilla. I mean, what are the odds that Sarah could be hit by chunks of space debris after having that house fall on her sister?

  5. JustPixelz

    Does Sarah Palin™ still have her surveyor's marks plastered all over America?

    If it hits anything Repubicans like, it's because the Socialist Kenyan does not share our values. If it hits anything Demoncrats like, it's God's will (as expressed through the laws of physics and probability).

    Stuff like this wouldn't happen if the states ran the space program. Or if people could just keep all their income under Michele Bachmann's 0-0-0 tax plan.

    1. yrbmegr

      Bachmann's 0-0-0 tax plan, in which we still give some money "back to" the government. Cause we have to run the government, you know.

  6. MrFizzy

    I just got hit with something heavy, but it may have been dried santorum from Marcus Bachmann's ass. Don't ask how that happened.

  7. MildMidwesterner

    If all the hippies back in the '60s had ignored science we wouldn't have had any satellites up in space to begin with.

    Chalk up another point for creationism.

  8. freakishlywrong

    Goldamn. The usurper nigra in the the white house has turned this whole goldarned country to sheeeit. Falling bridges, unpaved roads and collapsin' satlites. S'all his fawlt.
    Taxed Enough Already. Goldamn.

  9. SayItWithWookies

    What a pity — businesses were all set to do some hiring today, and then Obama's NASA injected so much uncertainty about where and when the satellite was going to land that they've decided to bag it. How much longer is our president going to keep destroying this economy?!

    1. yrbmegr

      The Republican plan would repeal NASA's authority to hurl satellites from space at poor unsuspecting American corporations.

  10. Steverino247

    My money's on Texas. Because being hit with space junk is the only disaster they haven't had yet this year.

    1. Chichikovovich

      Perry better gather a stadium full of people to pray away the debris. The strategy is bound to work sooner or later!

    1. MissusBarry

      Completely cloudy, here, so I won't see the space junk coming. I should probably hurry up and go bang MisterBarry and eat something fattening, just in case.

    2. Doktor Zoom

      According to Tom Robbins, the Seattle sky usually resembles "cottage cheese that had been dragged nine miles behind a cement truck." So today, just a bit lumpier.

  11. Steverino247

    Maybe the space junk will hit one of the many Spanky2b accounts. (Asshole has all of them check my junk every day…)

    1. 102415

      I just means you are special to her. Me too I'm afraid. Nobody else pays that much attention to me. I love you too Miz Spankykins!

  12. Come here a minute

    Didn't we get that Star Wars Missile Shield partially deployed during the 'cut taxes and spend like drunken sailors, on missiles' George W. Bush administration? Why don't they just point it at the satellite, and keep us all safe. You know, like "George W. Bush Kept America Safe®".

  13. BarackMyWorld

    Like most of you, I read the headline, assumed they meant the newspaper, and felt a little better about the world.

    Now that I read the article? Not so much.

  14. Spurning Beer

    NASA says that the chances of any particular person being hit by satellite debris is 1 in 21 trillion. Since there are about 7 billion of us, though, that raises the odds to 1 in 3200 that somebody will be hit.

    By my rough calculations, that means that the chances that person would be American are less than 1 in 20, but it's 50-50 that the person hit would be an asshole.

  15. Mumbletypeg

    Ken does this mean it's too late to see about a redux of last fall's wonketteer gathering?

    or… now that I think about it.. that was predicated by the availability of a rounded-out stable of ed/mod's to coordinate: the Wonkabout™, the Mourning in America©
    correspondent, the AM/PM contributors. Damn. It *already* feels like post-satellite impact devastation round here. Oh well. Nice knowing y'all! (checks watch).. How soon to start drinking to this long kiss goodnight, forever?

    1. 102415

      Actually it's raining like hell here. I will be in all weekend and batshit crazy by next Thursday when it's supposed to stop. I apologize in advance.

        1. 102415

          By early Sunday morning God will indeed ask me to run and I will just have to think it over until I am more soberish. Meanwhile please paypal me some Amerios to show your support.

      1. Neoyorquino

        she was walking all alone
        down the street in the alley
        her name was sally
        she never saw it
        when she was hit by . . .

        1. Chichikovovich

          But remember – if you're running away from the falling satellite, and you don't feel ground under your feet anymore, Don't Look Down!

      1. widestanceshakedown

        OK, fine, it's about as true as keyboards getting ruined by mouth-shot coffee, but as long as it keeps my p-ness happy, wtf?

    1. DashboardBuddha

      I am saying it here, right now…if the satellite of love takes out Rush AND his house, I will give up my current life and join a religious order devoting my life to service.

  16. ApplesauceRobot

    Somewhere, a lonely farm kid is begging his uncle to let him transmit his application to the academy THIS year. Little does he know that just above the atmosphere…

    1. Naked_Bunny

      You should flesh that out into a story. Maybe add a princess, a rogue, and some wacky sidekicks. Me, I'd include a naked furry or two, but that'll never sell mainstream.

  17. OneYieldRegular

    Thank Saint Reagan we've spent $100+ billion dollars on a missile defense project capable of taking out a dangerous threat like this.

  18. Maman

    I have decided to walk through life like Tom Sizemore's character in Black Hawk Down. You never see the one with your name on it anyway…

  19. prommie

    This could be our last day on earth! Its time to end it all with a bang, bring on the hedonistic end-times orgy, sex with random strangers, go out with your boots on, as it were, like in On The Beach. LimeyLizzie, you said I had a shot, we may not be alive tomorrow…

  20. DustBowlBlues

    Great alt text. Or however you guys spell it. I have an iMac, so I just scroll over it.

    Who knew the satellite + our managing editor could supply such yucks. Meanwhile, please join me in intercessional prayer that it takes out a hate radio star–any old Sean O'Rushbeck will do– mid-rant.

  21. BornInATrailer

    After they put the floating Mir target out in the middle of the ocean as a promotion, wouldn't it be hilarious if it landed on an unoccupied Taco Bell location?

  22. SorosBot

    Considering how much those metals are worth, it might be good luck to have it land on your property as long as it doesn't hit anybody.


    Here in Texas our Governor rejected environmental regulations from socialist EPA, so debris and space trash are always welcome.

  24. CommieLibunatic

    Hey! I know that game and I'm not even 30 yet! And the Game Over screen is horrifying even without the context of it being released in the heart of the Cold War.

  25. 102415

    Is there a finders fee or do you own it or do you have to give it back or can you sue because it ruined the garage? There has got to be a pony in there somewhere.

    1. HistoriCat

      The pony is that after a few hours of intense questioning maybe they won't throw your ass in jail for possessing government property!

    1. HarryButtle

      Inside what? A bomb shelter? 'Cause I don't think your roof is gonna even slow down that friggin' satellite…

  26. NYNYNYjr

    It's like a free life-insurance lottery. Who's family is going to get the 'sorry' money. Unless it wipes out the whole family.

  27. jus_wonderin

    I have my time machine warmed up. So, I plan to spend the weekend on Tuesday and Wednesday. That way I can figure out where it will hit. Then I plan to return to Friday, that would be today, and I will be able to tell all of you where it hit. See you all in a second.

    EDIT: Back now. Arkansas.

  28. proudgrampa

    Well, my timing is pretty good. I'm in Las Vegas right now. Since we're all gonna die anyway, I might as well call a hooker and order room service.

  29. Radiotherapy®

    Won't Zombie Reagun's Star Warz Missile Defense vaporize the space junk right out of the sky? Oh wait.

  30. antispandex

    I'm starting a pool to see how long it will be until we hear the first Teapublican say something like, "It's because we are wasting money on entitlements, and not important things like NASA (which could be very helpfull to my district), that the aliens have decided to invade".

    1. Nothingisamiss

      I thought NASA was supposed to be gov't waste that should be handled by smart and honorable corporations.. Wait, that was before Obama.

  31. owhatever

    I shoot rockets up,
    And don't care where they come down,
    That's not my department,
    Says Werner von Braun

  32. JackObin

    I'm no doctor (thank gawd), but it seems to me america's blubber will protect it from anything weighing six tons.

  33. johnjmccarthy

    OK, men, we have electronically calculated the impact site of the space junk and it will be giving it's last Harrah near the California/Arizona boarder on Interstate 80. There is a possibility of collisions of several hundred pound pieces of space junk that may or may not be contaminated with Uranium elements, some of which are deadly in touch with humans.

  34. Negropolis

    **fingers crossed** Please fall on the Wicked Witch of the North Slope, please fall on the Wicked Witch of the North Slope…

    erratic U.S. predator drone

    Wait, there are other kinds of predator drones? Adding "erratic" is redundant, right?

Comments are closed.