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NASA satellite to fall to Earth after 38 years in space

After nearly 40 years of space travel, a NASA satellite is set to come to Earth this weekend.

In 1984, the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS), was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.

It was sent to space for the first time with a lifespan only two years. The purpose of the mission was to examine how the Earth absorbs and radiates energy from the sun.

The satellite continued to measure atmospheric ozone until 2005, when it was retired.


The 2,450kg object will now crash to Earth.

Image Sally Ride, America’s first woman astronaut, launched the ERBS into orbit.

NASA predicts that most of the satellite will be destroyed upon re-entry. However, some pieces may survive.

NASA stated that the chances of debris falling on anyone is “very low”. This means that the chances of any injury from falling debris to anyone anywhere on Earth are about one-in-9,000.

More information about Nasa

The chance that the debris could injure one person is nearly impossible to imagine, considering the Earth’s 7.8 billion inhabitants.

According to the US Defence Department, the satellite will be down by Sunday night.

Aerospace Corporation in California, however, targets Monday morning.

It is expected that the satellite will pass over Africa, Asia and the Middle East, as well as the westernmost regions of North and South America.

Sally Ride, America’s first woman astronaut, launched the ERBS into orbit using Challenger’s robotic arm.

Ms Ride died in 2012 after completing the second and last spaceflight.

Kathryn Sullivan, the first woman to spacewalk in America, was also part of that same mission.


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