32 Grenville Street M4Y 1A3
Another Satellite Set To Hit Earth In Coming Weeks
Didnít we do this just a couple of weeks ago? The School bus fell in the Pacific Ocean, pretty good odds, 70% of the earthís surface being covered by water (we are, after all, an ocean-planet with a half-dozen very large islands lying surrounded by water).
Now a two-and-a-half ton German research satellite (I suppose that thatís a school bus) is predicted to crash. And I suppose a significant part of it will burn up before it hits earth.
Two weeks ago I did some quick thinking, based on a refrigerator crashing to earth.
I have a refrigerator in my kitchen, and am in there far too often; I am supposed to be dieting to lose a bit of weight myself.
So I tend to park the car well away from the mall entrance and walk a bit extra across the shopping mall parking lot.
Saturday 4pm is, perhaps, the most zoo-like time here; people are frantically getting shopping done before the world comes to an end (that is, the stores close at 6pm not to re-open until 8am Sunday!), and the parking-lot is about as crowded as it ever gets.
I visualized a refrigerator dropping from the sky from a jumbo jet that was coming in to land at the airport a few miles north of here.
Admittedly dropping from a plane flying at 4,000 feet isnít quite the same as dropping out of orbit, but there is a terminal velocity for large objects dropping out of orbit.
In the case of an out-of-orbit object (as distinct from an it-came-from-outer-space object), the refrigerator will be dropping pretty well vertically.
So I imagined a refrigerator dropping from the plane, and looked around me in the parking lot.
Crowded as it was, I figured that the Ďfridge would probably render four cars as write-offs, but looking at people walking across the parking lot, the chances of them being hit appears minimal. Something like three dozen people in five acres of land.
People in cars would be shielded from much of the debris.
Thereís be shock; a few fender-benders as people stared or panicked. Much horn-blowing, but then, thatís typical on a Saturday afternoon.
All in all it seems not a great cause for worry.
Probably the worst place for it to fall would be on the 19-lane wide portion of highway 427 nearby, where most folks seem to be exceeding the 100 Km/hour speed limit, with attendant collisions when the unexpected occurred.
Toronto, Monday, August 03, 2015 11:43 AM
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