NASA satellite due to re-enter the atmosphere in the future, low threat
A defunct NASA satellite that has spent nearly 40 years in orbit is poised to hit the ground.
According to a statement released by NASA on Saturday, the likelihood of a risk to "anyone on Earth" from falling satellite debris is extremely low.
According to NASA, some components of the 2,450kg (5,400lb) satellite are anticipated to survive the re-entry but the most will burn up.
According to the American space agency, the likelihood of being hurt by falling debris is one in 9,400. The US defense department has predicted that the scientific satellite will fall down on Sunday night at around 18:40 EST (23:40 GMT), give or take 17 hours.
However, the California-based Aerospace Corporation has estimated that the satellite would re-enter the atmosphere Monday morning, US time, along a route that will travel across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the westernmost regions of North and South America.
In 1984, the space shuttle Challenger launched the ERBS, or Earth Radiation Budget Satellite.
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.
According to a statement from NASA, "ERBS substantially extended its anticipated two-year service life, running until its retirement in 2005."
According to NASA, the satellite's findings let scientists gauge how human activities affect the Earth's radiation balance.
When the satellite was launched from the Challenger 38 years ago, it received a special send-off.
Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, used the shuttle's robot arm to launch the satellite into orbit.
Kathryn Sullivan, a US woman, made her first spacewalk on the same flight. Two female astronauts traveled in orbit together for the first time ever.
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