After a night of changing predictions and hopes of many to see a fireball in the sky, the UARS (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite) finally met its fiery demise.
After being in orbit for 20 years and 10 days, the decommissioned 6.5 ton satellite was believed to have re-entered the Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean and started to fall back to Earth on Sept 24 between 03:23 GMT and 05:09 GMT.
In its death throes, the massive satellite broke up and it is believed debris landed in the ocean, off of the west coast of North America.
"DoD?s Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg AFB, CA, has assessed that NASA?s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite reentered the atmosphere sometime between 0323 and 0509 GMT on 24 September. During this period the satellite passed over Canada, the African continent, and the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The mid-point of that groundtrack and a possible reentry location is 31 N latitude and 219 E longitude (green circle marker on the above map)."
NASA says there are no reports of damage or injury caused by the surviving components that made it to the surface. NASA is almost certain that no part of the satellite made land and there were no visual reports of the UARS Satellite burning up. A NASA spokesman confirmed that we may never know exactly when or where the satellite fell back to Earth.
Top image: UARS final ground track. Image credits: NASA. This post originally appeared on Universe Today.