NASA Messenger Probe article by Kristen Metz
This is standard practice for scientific satellites like the Messenger. The fall is usually targeted at some specificc location in the Atlantic or Pacific and the satellite is quickly recovered. I wouldn’t worry about it falling on your head any time soon, even if it were entirely random in its fall to Earth, the likelihood that it would strike land at all is very small.
Messenger will end up forever on Mercury it has no way to get back to Earth.
When Messenger returns to Earth, it will be a controlled fall. Many satellites and other spacecraft burn up as they reenter Earth’s atmosphere due to harsh conditions. The safest place for a satellite to fall is an ocean, so when Messenger reenters Earth’s atmosphere, scientists will control the propulsion systems to ensure that it falls in a safe place.
Odusei is right. If it did land on land, then the chances that it would land on your head are TINY. Now that doesn’t mean it can’t. But it probably won’t. Almost all of the probes landed (safely) in water. And yes, it will plummet to earth.
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