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NASA falling satellite has official burial ground

A dead satellite slowed its descent toward Earth, changed its course and was predicted to be going toward South Africa.

September 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A final and official burial ground for NASA's falling UARS satellite has been determined on Tuesday.

Officials at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California determined the location to be in a remote area in the Southern Hemisphere of the Pacific Ocean, far from any major land mass.

Officials say the satellite entered the atmosphere at 9:01 p.m. on Sept. 23, landing 14.1 degrees south latitude and 189.8 degrees east longitude.

NASA says UARS broke into pieces upon re-entry, and most were burned up in the atmosphere. There say 26 pieces totaling 1,200 pounds could have survived and reached the Earth's surface.

NASA is not aware of any possible debris sightings from this geographic area.

UARS was launched Sept. 12, 1991 aboard the shuttle Discovery and ceased its scientific life in 2005.