Your Future May Vary -- A LOT

It's coming for you, Barbara.
You gotta love NASA. Turns out that one of their 20-year-old six-ton dead satellites is gonna shmear a good chunk of its kinetic energy precisely somewhere between Alaska and Tierra del Fuego (roughly the entire earth). Timeframe? Exactly sometime in September. Or October. Or maybe later. NASA has kindly informed us that their molten satellite-projectile will weigh anywhere from 6 tons to 1200 lbs when it strikes your backyard BBQ/bunker at roughly 15,000 mph, depending on how much material ablates off in the atmosphere and how many convenience stores it encounters along the way. So, either an army truck or a French Volkswagon (see above) will be hitting an elementary school near you sometime in September or October or whenever you least expect it. No problem. Halloween's coming and a good scare is just as important as a concrete bunker.

6 tons x 15000 mph = enough kinetic energy to wake even Da-da. Jeez, even at 1200 lbs x 15,000 mph, this thing's gonna sting (but not THE Sting)... wait, if it hits Sting, then Da-da's the next Nostradamus. Be afraid.

The odds maker.
What's really fun is that NASA bookies say that there's only a 3200 to 1 chance that you or your kids or your family dog will be cratered by their friendly zombie satellite. Doesn't seem like very good odds to Da-da, but how does their odds prediction stack up against other outcomes?
Odds of bowling a 300 game: 11,500 to 1
Odds of getting a hole in one: 5,000 to 1
Odds of getting canonized: 20,000,000 to 1
Odds of being an astronaut: 13,200,000 to 1
Odds of winning an Olympic medal: 662,000 to 1
Odds of injury from mowing the lawn: 3,623 to 1
Odds of fatally slipping in bath or shower: 2,232 to 1
Odds of being killed in the next year in a transportation accident: 77 to 1
Odds of being killed in any sort of non-transportation accident: 69 to 1
Odds of being struck by lightning: 576,000 to 1
Odds of being killed by lightning: 2,320,000 to 1
Odds of being murdered: 18,000 to 1
Odds of being on plane with a drunken pilot: 117 to 1
Chance of dying in an airplane accident: 1 in 354,319 
Odds of catching a ball at a major league ballgame: 563 to 1
Odds of becoming a pro athlete: 22,000 to 1
Odds of a meteor landing on your house: 182,138,880,000,000 to 1 
[source: funny2]
While we're on the topic, has anyone in the all of world's multifarious space programs considered putting an "expiration rocket" on these multi-ton chunks of metal they keep sending up? Basically a small, solid fuel propellant and a touch of code that would send all future dead/dying satellites into the sun, or the IRS? C'mon, the sun (and the IRS) LOVES eating things. It really does. It wants to eat you right now. Like the IRS, it's currently waiting in a dark alley to go CHOMP on your hominid butt.

Watch your butt, Linus.


Anonymous said...

well, it's actually 1 in 3200 of ANYONE getting hurt by a piece of the satellite, not 1 in 3200 of you getting hurt. Since their are about 7 billion people on the planet, the odds of any single person getting hurt are more like 1 in (3200 * 7 billion), which is about 1 in 22 trillion. That's pretty safe.

A Man Called Da-da said...

oh, sure. use logic. so, da-da has a better chance of being hit by space junk than recovering from mommy brain. a disturbance da-da feels in the force...

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