In this file image provided by NASA this is the STS-48 onboard photo of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) in the grasp of the RMS (Remote Manipulator System) during deployment, from the shuttle in September 1991. NASA's old research satellite is expected to come crashing down through the atmosphere Friday afternoon, Sept. 23, 2011 Eastern Time. The spacecraft will not be passing over North America then, the space agency said in a statement Wednesday evening. (AP Photo/NASA)
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA says it is not aware of any injuries or property damage from a defunct 6-ton satellite that has fallen from the sky.
The agency posted on its website that the spacecraft crashed through the atmosphere early Saturday morning somewhere over the north Pacific Ocean. An exact location was not known.
Most of it was believed to have burned up.
The Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite was NASA's biggest spacecraft to tumble out of orbit, uncontrolled, in 32 years.
UARS was launched aboard space shuttle Discovery in 1991. NASA decommissioned the satellite in 2005, after moving it into a lower orbit that cut its life short by two decades.
Bits of space junk re-enter the atmosphere often. No injuries have ever been reported from it.