If you’re worried about a piece of free-falling space junk from NASA’s satellite hitting you while you’re on your way to work in the morning, don’t fret! There’s a 1 in a 3,200 chance that you will be harmed. That is to say, there is still the possibility that you can get hit by a piece of debris.
NASA’s 1 in 3,200 chance calculation is a bit too risky for most, seeing as chances of winning the lottery are higher.
An estimated 26 pieces, which represent 1,200 pounds, are expected to survive the journey from space. Yikes! Don’t worry! The 26 pieces are expected to break into more than 100 pieces as it enters Earth’s atmosphere, most of it burning up. Thanks NASA! Now at least there is an estimated 1 in 12,300 chance that flaming space debris is going to fall and hit someone, which is, sad to say, still more likely to happen than someone winning the $25 million Powerball jackpot.
Just kidding! Most of those pieces are unlikely to make it very far after reaching the atmosphere. They will most likely be ashes blowing in the wind far before they cause a threat to any civilian.
The pieces that people should be warned about, are the satellite’s heaviest metal parts. These parts are actually expected to reach Earth. Wait, what?! The biggest chunk weighs around 300 pounds and its debris could be scattered over a 500 mile radius. That means that a 1.666666666666667 pound of space junk has the possibility of touching down for 500 miles every mile. Combine that with the 1 in 12,300 chance and you now have an estimated 1 in 22,100 chance of getting hit by a fragment of the gigantic 300 pound piece of space junk.
In total, you have a 1 in a 34,400 chance (at the very least) of getting hit by any piece of NASA’s satellite, which is in the process of plummeting to Earth as you read this.
Even though it’s still more likely that you will get hit by a piece of space debris while walking the dog than get lucky and win the lotto, chances are that everyone is going to be just fine.
DISCLAIMER: This article is meant solely for entertainment purposes. Even though there is valid information in regards to NASA and the falling satellite, the probability calculations in this article should not be taken seriously.