After almost four decades in space, a retired NASA satellite is about to fall to earth. The United States space agency put the odds of injury from falling debris at about one-in-9,400.

The chances of falling satellite debris posing a risk to “anyone on Earth is very low”, NASA said in a statement on Saturday.

Most of the 2,450kg (5,400lb) satellite will burn up on re-entry but some pieces are expected to survive, according to NASA.

The science satellite is expected to come down on Sunday night at approximately 18:40 EST (23:40 GMT), give or take 17 hours, according to the US defence department.

The California-based Aerospace Corporation, however, has predicted Monday morning, US time, for the satellite’s re-entry, give or take 13 hours,

along a track that passes over Africa, Asia the Middle East and the westernmost areas of North and South America.

The Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, known as ERBS, was launched in 1984 on board the space shuttle Challenger.