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Space satellite returns to Earth's atmosphere after almost 30 years

Tan KW
Publish date: Thu, 22 Feb 2024, 11:57 PM
Tan KW
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LONDON: A satellite that has been in orbit for nearly 30 years has fallen back down through the Earth's atmosphere, the European Space Agency (Esa) has said, reported German news agency (dpa).

The ERS-2 satellite fell in the North Pacific Ocean somewhere between Alaska and Hawaii at around 5.17 pm GMT on Wednesday, bringing to an end a nearly three-decade-long orbit.

The satellite was launched in 1995 following on from its sister satellite, ERS-1, which was launched four years earlier.

At the time, they were both the most sophisticated Earth observation satellites ever developed.

In 2011, Esa retired the still-functioning ERS-2 and began the process of deorbiting.

Throughout its working life, ERS-2 collected data on the Earth's diminishing polar ice, changing land surfaces, rising sea levels, warming oceans and atmospheric chemistry.

The ERS-2 was also called upon to monitor natural disasters, such as severe floods and earthquakes, in remote parts of the world. 

 -dpa

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