Defense

The North Korean satellite is tumbling out of control: How dangerous is that?

Scientists and technicians work on their computers to control the launch of North Korea's Unha-3 rocket  in Pyongyang, North Korea on Dec. 12, 2012.

Scientists and technicians work on their computers to control the launch of North Korea's Unha-3 rocket in Pyongyang, North Korea on Dec. 12, 2012. // AP

After so many failed attempts, North Korea finally rocketed its satellite into space early Wednesday — only to watch it go "tumbling out of control," as U.S. officials tell NBC News Wednesday night. That's not only another embarrassment for a country that's looking to launch a nuclear missile — it's a possible safety hazard to a whole lot of other countries. Well done, North Korea.

First of all, the space object could crash with another satellite like that time two space vehicles collided over Siberia in 2009. That accident had minor effects — the debris didn't cause much harm, with most of it burning up in the atmosphere. Some of the space junk did end up falling on Texas and New Mexico, though. And a school bus-sized piece came crashing down, albeit into the Atlantic Ocean. (Some people, of course, attributed this to god and or aliens.)

Read more at The Atlantic Wire

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