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NASA satellite from the eighties will crash somewhere on Earth on the night from Sunday to Monday.

Published: 2023-01-07

NASA announced that the ERBS (Earth Radiation Budget Satellite), launched in 1984, weighing 2450 kg, will enter the dense layers of the atmosphere on Monday, January 9th. Most of the apparatus will burn out, but something will still reach the surface of the planet. The exact location of the satellite's fall is unknown. Debris is likely to fall in a trajectory over Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the westernmost regions of North and South America.

The ERBS satellite to study the Earth's radiation balance was launched into low Earth orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. It was one of three devices for studying the energy balance of our planet - how much sunlight falls on it and how much goes back into space. The device was designed for two years of operation, but remained in service until 2005. Since then, it has been slowed down by the atmosphere and has been decreasing.

“The risk of harm to anyone on Earth (from the wreckage of the apparatus) is very low - about 1 in 9400,” NASA said. However, until the last fragments of the satellite touch the ground, no one can accurately predict the outcome of the event. Memories are still fresh of how last year the world twice expected the first stage of the Chinese Long March-5B launch vehicle to fall to no one knows where. Usually, the first stages fall on a predetermined trajectory, but in the case of the Long March 5B launches, the 22-ton stages rose to such a high orbit that the descent from which became unpredictable.

We add that the Californian company Aerospace Corp estimates the time of the fall of the NASA ERBS satellite to Earth a little differently. According to her observations, the device will enter the dense layers of the atmosphere 12 hours later than the NASA forecast and will fall in the interval of ± 13 hours, or from noon to Monday evening.