Defunct US Satellite May Possibly Fall Around Korean Peninsula
The South Korean science ministry on Monday warned that a retired US satellite could possibly fall on the Korean Peninsula and its vicinity.
Launched in 1984, the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) was set to fall on Earth around 5.10 a.m. India time on Monday (plus or minus 17 hours) after completing its decades-long mission to study how the Earth absorbed and radiated energy from the sun.
The Ministry of Science and ICT said the ERBS is forecast to crash back down to Earth and the Korean Peninsula is included in the regions that the satellite would fall toward, reported Yonhap news agency.
The ministry said the majority of the satellite will burn up upon re-entry to the atmosphere but asked Korean people to remain cautious about some components that will likely survive the process and reach the surface.
Meanwhile, NASA predicted that most of the 5,400-pound (2,450 kilograms) defunct satellite will burn up as it travels through the atmosphere, but some components are expected to survive the reentry.
“The risk of harm coming to anyone on Earth is very low — approximately 1 in 9,400,” a NASA official said.
ERBS, part of NASA’s three-satellite Earth Radiation Budget Experiment mission, was launched to low Earth orbit aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1984.
ERBS used three scientific instruments to study how our planet absorbs and radiates solar energy.
“It was designed to operate for just two years but kept ticking until 2005, after which it became a hefty hunk of space junk. Drag has been pulling the spacecraft down gradually ever since,” reports Space.com.
In 2022, two roughly 23-tonne Chinese aLong March 5B’ rocket cores fell back to Earth uncontrolled.
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