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US Spy Satellite to Come Crashing to Earth

US Spy Satellite to Come Crashing to Earth
Duck and cover! A US spy satellite has lost power and is preparing to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere. Where? The government either doesn't know, or isn't saying. When? The best estimates are late February, early March.

Typically spy satellites are disposed of in a controlled fashion, usually crashed into the ocean to keep any sensitive data out of the hands of foreign governments. But without power this satellite's descent will be uncontrolled and difficult to predict.

Worst of all, the satellite may contain beryllium, a light metal with an extremely high melting point routinely used in the aerospace industry. Beryllium is highly toxic, and if inhaled can lead to chronic and incurable respiratory problems.

So build a shelter and get a gas mask -- this one might get ugly.

From USA Today

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Tags: government, reentry, satellite, science, space

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