The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, was turned off in 2005, becoming another piece of space junk loitering in Earth's orbit.
A defunct Nasa science satellite dispatched by a space shuttle crew in 1991 will come crashing back to Earth this month, with debris most likely landing in an ocean or unpopulated region, officials have said.
Satellites and rocket bodies falling back to Earth are nothing new. Last year, about 400 small pieces of traceable debris returned to the atmosphere. The Russian Mir space station fell to Earth in 2001.