“Numerous satellites over the years have come out of orbit and fallen harmlessly,” said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council.
Yes, but there have also been a handful of times, where a satellite did not fall harmlessly, including this recent near-hit
Report from The N.Y. Times:
In 1964, a rocket failure led to the destruction of a navigation satellite powered by plutonium 238, spreading radioactivity around the globe and starting a debate over the event's health effects.
In 1965, high in the Himalayas, an intelligence team caught in a blizzard lost a plutonium-powered device meant to spy on China. And in 1968, an errant weather satellite crashed into the Pacific, but federal teams managed to recover its plutonium battery intact from the Santa Barbara Channel, off California.
Since plutonium is so wrapped up in the flag, we probably will never hear the truth about whether it is aboard this spacecraft. Amazing in this day and age when NASA plutonium profiteers still stand to make handsome returns by selling out our environment.
And how do you clean some drops of plutonium up out from the ocean?