European Satellite Falls to Earth After 30 Years?!

Satellite Falls to Earth After 30 Years in Orbit?!

( – An uncontrolled European satellite is expected to plunge to Earth through its atmosphere after 30 years in orbit.

The European satellite is named ERS-2 and it’s expected to break up into pieces when entering the atmosphere, and the majority of it will burn up. They say that the satellite will have a natural re-entry, which makes the actual timing and location of it difficult to predict at this time.

The European Space Agency originally predicted that the satellite would come into Earth’s atmosphere around 3:49 pm on Wednesday. As of now, the satellite is over the Pacific Ocean but there’s an expected 3-hour possible difference, which means there is still no accurate location or timing of the satellite.

The ERS-2 was launched in 1995 and it “was the most sophisticated Earth-observation spacecraft ever developed and launched by Europe.”

Mirko Albani, who is the head of ESA’s heritage space program said “It provided us with new insights on our planet, the chemistry of our atmosphere, the behavior of our oceans, and the effects of humankind’s activity on our environment.”

Images of the satellite plummeting towards Earth were taken from January 14 to February 3 and during this time the satellite was still 186 miles away. It has been falling at about 6 miles a day and the speed is increasing rapidly as it comes closer to Earth.

The satellite doesn’t pose any threat as the majority of it is expected to burn up as it reaches the atmosphere and any particles that do get through will be spread out over an area that is hundreds of kilometers wide. “The risks associated with satellite re-entries are very low,” the ESA said.

The space center has spoken out saying that there are thousands of satellites orbiting in space and operators are encouraged to speed up the process of the re-entry of their defunct satellites.

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