Yes it does! On average, a total of between 200-400 tracked objects enter Earth’s atmosphere every year. That’s about one every day! Thankfully human populations are rarely affected by things falling from the sky (from outer space). This is largely a numbers game. Human populations live on a small percentage of the Earth’s total surface area. So any objects that do not burn up and disintegrate upon atmosphere re-entry are likely to fall into the ocean (which covers over 70% of the surface of the Earth) or a sparsely populated land area.
January 5, 2018: NOAA is pleased to be a sponsor (along with NASA and USGS) of Thriving on Our Changing Planet: A Decadal Strategy for Earth Observation from Space (2018), released today by the National Research Council. We thank the authors and contributors for their work, and we look forward to reviewing their recommendations in greater depth over the coming weeks.
The goal of the survey is to provide expert, consensus recommendations for a forward-looking, integrated and sustainable approach to the U.S. government’s civilian, space-based Earth science programs. The last decadal survey was published in 2007.
NOAA is a leader in providing actionable, environmental intelligence to US citizens and the international community. NOAA’s fleet of advanced satellites operates 24/7, 365 days a year to capture data and imagery that powers weather forecasting models, helps us track severe weather minute-by-minute, and helps us assess short and long-term changes to our climate. We also host one of the most significant archives of environmental data on Earth, spanning million-year-old ice core records to near-real-time satellite images.