Orbiting U.S. spy satellite could crash to Earth

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S.

intelligence satellite has lost power and could fall to Earth sometime in February or March, a government official said on Saturday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the spy satellite can no longer be controlled and it was not known where on the planet it might come down.

"Appropriate government agencies are monitoring the situation," said National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe. "Numerous satellites over the years have come out of orbit and fallen harmlessly. We are looking at potential options to mitigate any possible damage this satellite may cause."

In recent years, NASA has safely brought defunct satellites back to Earth. In 2000, the space agency maneuvered the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory to a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.