Satellite still on for Friday freefall from space

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) ? A dead 6-ton satellite is getting closer and closer, and is expected to smack down on Earth on Friday.

Experts say Friday remains the most likely day that the NASA research satellite will come crashing down through the atmosphere. An estimated 26 pieces ? representing 1,200 pounds ? are expected to survive.

NASA is anticipating a splashdown rather than a landing. Nearly three-quarters of the world is covered with water. The Aerospace Corporation in California, in fact, predicts that re-entry will occur over the Pacific late Friday afternoon, Eastern Time. But that’s give or take 14 hours.

The 20-year-old Upper Research Atmosphere Satellite will be the biggest NASA spacecraft to fall uncontrolled from the sky in 32 years.