NASA officials estimated that the debris could fall anywhere between the latitudes of northern Canada and southern South America. Since basically no one lives north of Canada (who would want to) and there are only a handful of populated places south of South America, this prediction was of little comfort to 85% of the world's population. When asked why they could not narrow the path down more specifically so that portion of the globe could better prepare, the NASA spokesperson shrugged his shoulders and said, "What more do you expect? We're not rocket scientists!"
Then to add insult to possible, catastrophic injury, NASA puts out a press release reminding the planet's citizens that if you happen to find a piece of the satellite in your backyard or even lodged in your skull, you may not keep it. It is the property of NASA. Despite this warning, I have already decided what I would do with a piece of UARS if I do happen to find one. Depending in the size I find, I will either make it into a keychain, hang it off a necklace, or mount it in the front of my minivan. I overheard one person excited about how much technology could be pulled out of one of the downed chunks. I reminded him not to get too worked up about it for two reasons:
- Any circuitry would be burned to a crisp upon re-entry
- Your average run-of-the-mill smartphone has more processing power than even top-of-the-line government computers of 1991 when this space junk was launched.
|Those masks won't save you from falling space junk|
For years we cowered in fear, waiting for the terrorists to poison our water supply, blow up school buses, infiltrate our nuclear power plants, or blow up the Super Bowl. Now after successfully fighting for survival all these years, the government warned we could get hit by metal falling out of the sky. Our world has reached the point that no perceived terror is ridiculous. Putting all fear of what freaky sci-fi event will cause our eventual doom aside, there is something we all need to come to terms with. Anything can kill us and, in fact, one day will. Chuck Palahniuk wrote in his book Fight Club, "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero."
Since we are all going to die anyway, how about we start to live?