Minor threat from falling NASA satellites

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A 38-year-old retired NASA satellite is about to fall out of the sky.

NASA said Friday the chances of debris falling on anyone was “very low.” According to NASA, most of the 5,400-pound (2,450-kilogram) satellite will burn up upon re-entry. However, some pieces are expected to survive.

The space agency put the chance of injury from falling debris at about 1 in 9,400.

The science satellite is scheduled to come down on Sunday eveninggive or take 17 hours, according to the Department of Defense.

The California based Aerospace Corp., However, the goal is Monday morning, more or less 13 hours, along a route that takes in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the westernmost parts of North and South America.

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The Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, known as ERBS, was launched in 1984 aboard the space shuttle Challenger. Although its expected lifetime was two years, the satellite continued to take ozone and other atmospheric measurements until its decommissioning in 2005. The satellite studied how the Earth absorbs and radiates solar energy.

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The satellite received a special dispatch from Challenger. America’s first woman in space, Sally Ride, used the shuttle’s robotic arm to launch the satellite into orbit. The same mission also included the first spacewalk by a US woman: Kathryn Sullivan. It was the first time two female astronauts went into space together.

It was the second and final spaceflight for Ride, who died in 2012.

https://www.kvue.com/article/news/nation-world/old-nasa-satellite-falling-from-sky-this-weekend/507-a24a8524-ff91-411a-a4a9-8ec59b9be102 Minor threat from falling NASA satellites

Laura Coffey

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