Former NASA satellite falls harmlessly from the skies of Alaska

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — After nearly 40 years circling the Earth, a retired NASA science satellite has plunged harmlessly into the atmosphere off the coast of Alaska, the agency said. NASA Monday.

The Defense Department confirmed that the satellite, launched into orbit in 1984 by astronaut Sally Ride, re-entered Sunday night over the Bering Sea, a few hundred miles from Alaska. NASA said it has received no reports of injuries or damage from the falling debris.

Late last week, NASA said it expected most of the 5,400-pound (2,450-kilogram) Earth-radiation budget satellite to burn up in the atmosphere, but that some pieces might survive. The space agency calculated that the chances of falling debris injuring someone are 1 in 9,400.

The space shuttle Challenger carried the satellite into orbit, and the first American woman in space released it. The satellite measured ozone in the atmosphere and studied how the Tierra it absorbed and radiated energy from the sun, before being retired in 2005, well beyond its expected useful life.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.