Duck and Cover

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PHXPhlyer
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Re: Duck and Cover

#21 Post by PHXPhlyer » Tue Feb 20, 2024 12:55 am

A 5,000-pound satellite is expected to fall to Earth this week

https://www.cnn.com/2024/02/19/world/er ... index.html

A European Space Agency satellite is expected to reenter and largely burn up in Earth’s atmosphere on Wednesday morning.

The agency’s Space Debris Office, along with an international surveillance network, is monitoring and tracking the Earth-observing ERS-2 satellite, which is predicted to make its reentry at 6:14 a.m. ET Wednesday, with a 15-hour window of uncertainty. The ESA is also providing live updates on its website.

“As the spacecraft’s reentry is ‘natural’, without the possibility to perform manoeuvers, it is impossible to know exactly where and when it will reenter the atmosphere and begin to burn up,” according to a statement from the agency.

The exact time of the satellite’s reentry remains unclear due to the unpredictability of solar activity, which can change the density of Earth’s atmosphere and how the atmosphere tugs on the satellite. As the sun nears its 11-year cycle’s peak, known as solar maximum, solar activity has been ramping up. Solar maximum is expected to occur later this year.

The sun’s increased activity already had an impact on speeding up the reentry of the ESA’s Aeolus satellite in July 2023.

The ERS-2 satellite has an estimated mass of 5,057 pounds (2,294 kilograms) after depleting its fuel, making it similar in size to other space debris that reenters Earth’s atmosphere every week or so, according to the agency.

At around 50 miles (80 kilometers) above Earth’s surface, the satellite is expected to break apart and the majority of the fragments will burn up in the atmosphere. The agency said that some fragments could reach the planet’s surface, but they won’t contain any harmful substances and will most likely fall into the ocean.

ERS-2’s backstory

The Earth-observing ERS-2 satellite first launched on April 21, 1995, and it was the most sophisticated satellite of its kind at the time to be developed and launched by Europe.

Along with its twin, ERS-1, the satellite collected valuable data on the planet’s polar caps, oceans and land surfaces and observed disasters like flooding and earthquakes in remote areas. The data gathered by ERS-2 is still used today, according to the agency.

In 2011, the agency decided to end the satellite’s operations and deorbit it, rather than adding to the swirl of space junk orbiting the planet.

The satellite executed 66 deorbiting maneuvers in July and August of 2011 before the mission officially concluded later that year on September 11. The maneuvers burned through the rest of the satellite’s fuel and decreased its altitude, setting ERS-2’s orbit on a trajectory to slowly spiral closer to Earth and reenter the atmosphere within 15 years.

The chances of an individual person being injured by space debris each year are less than 1 in 100 billion, about 1.5 million times lower than the risk of being killed in an accident at home, according to the agency.

PP

PHXPhlyer
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Re: Duck and Cover

#22 Post by PHXPhlyer » Tue Apr 16, 2024 3:22 pm

NASA confirms origin of space junk that crashed through Florida home
/ The 1.6-pound metal object should have burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere.


https://www.theverge.com/2024/4/16/2413 ... orida-home

NASA has confirmed suspicions that the strange object that crashed into a Florida home last month did indeed come from the International Space Station (ISS). The agency analyzed the cylindrical object after it tore through the roof and two floors of a house in Naples on March 8th and established that it came from a cargo pallet of aging batteries that was released from the ISS back in 2021.

More specifically, NASA revealed in a blog post on Monday that the offending object was a support component used to mount the batteries on the 5,800-pound (2,630-kilogram) pallet released from the space station. Made from Inconel (a metal alloy that can withstand extreme environments like high temperature, pressure, or mechanical loads), the recovered stanchion weighs 1.6 pounds and measures four inches high by 1.6 inches in diameter — a smidge smaller than a standard can of Red Bull.

Recovered stanchion from the NASA flight support equipment used to mount International Space Station batteries on a cargo pallet.
This image from NASA shows a comparison between the recovered stanchion (right) and what it would have originally looked like (left). Image: NASA



It’s not unheard of for space-related junk to find its way back to Earth — components from rockets launched by SpaceX and (more recently) the China National Space Administration have crashed into properties, for example, though such debris typically burns up in the atmosphere. NASA said that also should have happened in this incident, and it’s now trying to work out why it didn’t.

“The hardware was expected to fully burn up during entry through Earth’s atmosphere on March 8, 2024,” said NASA. “The International Space Station will perform a detailed investigation of the jettison and re-entry analysis to determine the cause of the debris survival and to update modeling and analysis, as needed. These models require detailed input parameters and are regularly updated when debris is found to have survived atmospheric re-entry to the ground.”

PP

k3k3
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Re: Duck and Cover

#23 Post by k3k3 » Tue Apr 16, 2024 3:36 pm

...and are regularly updated when debris is found to have survived atmospheric re-entry to the ground.

Not that uncommon then?

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