NASA Now Says Doomed Satellite Could Fall Over U.S.

September 23, 2011 Updated Sep 23, 2011 at 12:23 PM EDT

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NASA Now Says Doomed Satellite Could Fall Over U.S.

September 23, 2011 Updated Sep 23, 2011 at 12:23 PM EDT

One day after saying that a 6.5-ton defunct satellite that is expected to re-enter Earth's atmosphere Friday or Saturday would not fall over North America, the space organization reversed course and now says pieces of the satellite could fall over the U.S., according to a story on Space.com.

In a statement posted to its website Friday morning, NASA said: "The satellite’s orientation or configuration apparently has changed, and that is now slowing its descent. There is a low probability any debris that survives re-entry will land in the United States, but the possibility cannot be discounted because of this changing rate of descent. It is still too early to predict the time and location of re-entry with any certainty, but predictions will become more refined in the next 12 to 18 hours."

NASA says that 26 pieces of the satellite are expected to survive re-entry and make it back to Earth's surface.

Watch video and read the Space.com story HERE.