(CTN NEWS) – A 38-year-old NASA satellite that has been retired is poised to hit the ground.
According to NASA, the likelihood of wreckage landing on someone is “extremely minimal.” According to NASA, most of the 2,450 kilogram (5,400 pounds) satellites will burn up upon reentry. However, certain components should survive.
According to the space agency, there is a 1-in-9,400 chance of being hurt by falling debris.
NASA’s retired Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) is expected to reenter Earth’s atmosphere after almost 40 years in space.
— NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) January 6, 2023
The Defense Department predicts that the science satellite will come down Sunday night, give or take 17 hours.
The Aerospace Corp., based in California, aims for Monday morning, give or take 13 hours, following a trajectory that crosses across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the westernmost regions of North and South America.
ERBS, also known as the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, was launched in 1984 by the space shuttle Challenger. The satellite continued to measure ozone and other atmospheric variables despite having a two-year anticipated operating life.
It was retired in 2005. The satellite observed how the planet’s surface radiated and absorbed solar radiation.
Challenger gave the satellite a ceremonial sendoff. Sally Ride, the nation’s first woman in space, used the shuttle’s robot arm to launch the satellite into orbit.
Kathryn Sullivan made history on that same mission by being the first American woman to walk in space. Two female astronauts traveled in orbit together for the first time.
Ride, who passed away in 2012, made it his second and last trip into space.
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