On the way to Earth

On the way to Earth

An uncontrollable satellite launched nearly 30 years ago is headed toward Earth.

According to the European Space Agency (ESA), the satellite known as ERS-2 is expected to blast through the atmosphere on Wednesday.

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Maybe at sea

It is not possible to determine the exact time and location of the atmospheric penetration, because this cannot be controlled by humans, according to the European Space Agency. Sky News.

Their latest forecast estimates the satellite will appear on Wednesday at 11.14am, but this could change by up to 15 hours due to unexpected solar activity.

The satellite is expected to disintegrate upon entering the atmosphere, and most of its pieces will likely burn up. The little that does reach Earth will likely fall into the sea, according to the European Space Agency.

The risk associated with the return of satellites is very low, the European Space Agency wrote, according to Sky News.

The European Space Agency says none of the fragments will contain toxic or radioactive materials.

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“Most developed” in Europe

ERS-2 was launched in 1995 and was at the time Europe's most “advanced” Earth observation satellite.

– It has given us new insights into our planet, the chemistry of the atmosphere, the behavior of the oceans and the impacts of human activity on the environment, said Mirko Abani, head of the European Space Agency's Space Heritage Programme.

After 16 years, the European Space Agency decided to end the mission.

It included using the remaining fuel and reducing the satellite's altitude from 785 km to 573 km.

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This reduced the chance of it colliding with something else in space and reduced the time it would take to re-enter the atmosphere from more than 100 to less than 15 years.

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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