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A retired NASA satellite falls to Earth


After nearly 40 years of orbiting Earth, a "retired" NASA science satellite has fallen, without damage, through the atmosphere off the coast of Alaska.

And the US Department of Defense confirmed that the satellite, which was put into orbit by astronaut Sally Reid in 1984, returned to Earth again on Sunday evening over the Bering Sea, hundreds of miles from Alaska.

NASA said it had received no reports of injuries or damage from falling debris.

Late last week, NASA reported that most of the 2,450-kilogram satellite is expected to burn up in the atmosphere, but some parts of it may survive.  The US space agency said the odds of the debris falling on a person are 1 in 9,400.

The Challenger rocket carried the satellite into orbit and was launched by the first American woman in space.

The satellite measured atmospheric ozone and studied how the Earth absorbed and released energy from the sun before it was retired in 2005.

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