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NASA: 6-Ton Satellite Hits Earth; Location Unknown

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (CBS/AP) — NASA says a defunct 6-ton satellite has fallen from the sky.

The agency posted on its official Twitter site that the spacecraft crashed through the atmosphere early Saturday morning. A location was not immediately known.

Most of it was believed to have burned up.

Sky9 was on the lookout and captured the Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite (UARS) on camera Friday evening as it streamed across the Southland sky.

The 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 virtually.

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(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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