Despite the mounting national debt, unstable economy, earthquakes, and hurricanes, you might be inclined to believe the government when they say the sky isn’t falling. Unfortunately – we now know that the sky is, in fact, falling. Or at least a giant, 6.5 ton, bus-sized satellite is falling through the sky in 26 separate pieces.
For years, scientists have known the satellite, called the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, would fall back to earth, but weren’t exactly sure when. Well, NASA has a better idea now. And it’s this late week. But – not to worry – according to NASA, there’s only a one in 3,200 chance that someone will be killed by it.
Wait wait – what?
Here’s why this is concerning. For decades, the state government has encouraged the public to not really understand probability. For instance, despite the astronomic odds of the New York State lottery, their catchy advertisements told us, “Hey, you never know.” The government was pretty sure that one in 45 million was pretty good odds, regardless of what your math teacher told you in high school.
And not surprisingly, NASA’s message isn’t even close to, “Hey, you never know.”, but rather that the odds of being hit are “extremely small”. But – we must note that the odds of a human being hit by the satellite are 14,080 times greater than you winning the jackpot in the New York State lottery.
At least, if the government is being consistent, we look forward to the new lottery ads touting, “Hey – you have way better odds of a bus-sized satellite falling on your head.”