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40yr old science satellite reenters, burns up in atmosphere

Last updated on January 10, 2023

After decades of studying the Earth from space, a retired NASA science satellite made its final journey through the atmosphere over the Bering Sea off Alaska late Sunday night.

According to Defense Department reports and NASA officials, no injury or damage was caused by debris that may have fallen during reentry.

The 5,400-pound (2,450-kilogram) Earth Radiation Budget Satellite was originally launched in 1984 aboard Space Shuttle Challenger with astronaut Sally Ride at the helm.

The satellite’s mission focused on measuring ozone levels in the atmosphere as well as observing how energy from the sun is absorbed and radiated by Earth before being decommissioned in 2005 after exceeding its expected working lifetime.

NASA had anticipated most of it would burn up upon entering Earth’s atmosphere but warned there were chances some pieces could survive reentry.

Authorities have not reported any incidents related to debris from falling satellite parts making contact with people or property on land or sea.

Michael Lynch
Author: Michael Lynch

Raised on the Space Coast, I want to keep North Brevard informed of what's happening. Send Tips / Story Ideas to TitusvilleMedia@gmail.com

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