An old dead NASA satellite will return back to earth tomorrow night after spending almost four decades in space. The 5,400-pound satellite will crash its home planet from where it took off in 1984. The satellite was sent to space to study how earth absorbs and radiates solar energy.
Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS)
ERBS was a part of NASA’s Earth Radiation Budget Experiment mission launched to near Earth orbit. About 3 satellites were launched for just 2 years of service. The satellite continued to measure ozone and other atmospheric variables despite having a two-year anticipated operating life, until it retired in 2005.
No Harm Expected
Although the dead satellite is expected to burn in the earth’s atmosphere, some parts of it are likely to survive. “The risk of harm coming to anyone on Earth is very low – approximately 1 in 9,400,” NASA’s official website wrote.