published9 January 2023, 19:49
Launched in 1984NASA satellite crashes into sea off Alaska after 38 years in space
NASA’s ERBS satellite was launched in 1984 to measure the Earth’s radiation budget. It was designed to last two years, but sent data for 21 years. Now he fell back to earth.
A disused US research satellite has crashed into the sea off the coast of Alaska. The Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS), weighing almost two and a half tons, entered the atmosphere over the Bering Sea on Sunday evening, the US Department of Defense said. According to the space agency Nasa, there were no reports of damage or injuries.
The satellite was launched in 1984 with the space shuttle “Challenger” and released by the first US astronaut Sally Ride. He measured the ozone content in the atmosphere and examined the absorption and emission of solar energy by the earth, the so-called energy budget. He also recorded the amounts of water vapor and aerosols present and provided valuable information on the ozone layer.
ERBS was designed for only two years of service
In 2005 he was decommissioned. NASA said last week that it would probably burn up when it reentered the atmosphere. However, some debris could reach the surface of the earth. According to NASA, the risk of someone being injured is 1 in 9,400.
As NASA explains, the ERBS was designed for only two years of service, but served for 21 years. The results of his measurements helped researchers to determine the influence of human activities on Earth on the planet’s radiation balance.