NASA’s Forgotten Satellite Hurtling Towards Earth: Yep, There’s a Metaphor Here

NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or...

Image by NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Flickr

The sky is falling– or at least a NASA satellite is.

NASA recently announced that its long-defunct satellite, the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is finally finishing its long journey from orbit to Earth today or tomorrow. Though most of the 6.5 ton satellite is expected to be destroyed in the atmosphere, about half a ton of debris is still expected to fall to earth.

While news sources are treating the story like a modern-day Chicken Little tale, there’s little reason for human concern: the satellite will most likely land in the ocean. A person’s chances of being obliterated by the wayward satellite are about one in ten trillion.

Apparently the satellite ran out of fuel back in 2005 and has been on a slow downwards descent ever since…sound like any blogs you know?

In fact, UARS’ history reminds us of plenty of sites we know. Though we’re definitely chalking this under “Posts We Never Thought We’d Write,” we’re pleased to present: How to Prevent Your Content From Acting Like a Doomed NASA Satellite.

The Launch, the Orbit, and the Fall

In 1991, UARS was launched into space from Kennedy Space Center. Its mission? To study the ozone layer.

We launch our websites with the same excitement: we’re going to provide a fresh perspective on this subject! We’re going to be useful! We’re going to be the best in our field!

However, after a few years of posting piece after piece on the same subject…we get a little tired. Let’s face it, “A Quiche A Day” seemed like a great blog concept four years ago, but after 1,460 quiche recipes, you’re running out of ways to reinvent pastry dough.

By 2005, only six of UARS’ ten instruments were working. The satellite was decommissioned and it slowly started its decline towards Earth.

No One Wants Your Space Junk

There are 370,000 pieces of useless space junk floating around the atmosphere, according to a Daily Mail article. There are 171,857,137 blogs floating around the blogosphere, according to BlogPulse. See where we’re going here?

Take a look at your content: is it still as fresh, dynamic, and relevant as it was when you launched it? Or is it on a sad downward descent towards obscurity?

Here’s where your site and the UARS satellite differ: whereas millions of people start searching the sky when a satellite falls, no one cares about a fallen website. Don’t let your website become a defunct piece of web junk.

Or at least if you do, turn it into a doomsday event a la the UARS satellite. What? Fear sells.

About the author

Nicki Porter