Old NASA satellite expected to fall this weekend

Old NASA satellite: It is expected that the science satellite will come down Sunday night, give or take 17 hours.

Edited By Alka Jain
First Published7 Jan 2023
Old NASA satellite falling from sky this weekend.
Old NASA satellite falling from sky this weekend.

A 38-year-old retired NASA satellite is about to fall from the sky, the space agency said on Friday. It said the chance of wreckage falling on anybody is “very low", according to the news agency The Associated Press. 

NASA stated that most of the 5,400-pound (2,450-kilogram) satellite will burn up upon reentry, but some pieces are expected to survive. It also put the odds of injury from falling  debris at about 1-in-9,400.

It is expected that the science satellite will come down Sunday night, give or take 17 hours, according to the Defense Department.

However, the California-based Aerospace Corp is targeting Monday morning, give or take 13 hours, along a track passing over Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the westernmost areas of North and South America, as per AP reports.

The Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, known as ERBS, was launched in 1984 aboard space shuttle Challenger. Although its expected working lifetime was two years, the satellite kept making ozone and other atmospheric measurements until its retirement in 2005. 

The satellite studied how Earth absorbed and radiated energy from the sun. It has got a special sendoff from Challenger, AP reported.

America's first woman in space, Sally Ride, released the satellite into orbit using the shuttle's robot arm. That same mission also featured the first spacewalk by a US woman: Kathryn Sullivan. 

Notably, it was the first time two female astronauts flew in space together, and the second and final spaceflight for Ride, who died in 2012.

 

(With AP inputs)

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