Obsolete NASA satellite to crash back on Earth
An obsolete NASA spacecraft will crash back to Earth on Wednesday after the space craft was decommissioned in 2018.
The Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) satellite studied the sun since 2002 and was decommissioned after reaching its expected life span.
The RHESSI weighs 600 pounds and will be converted to ash and vapor as it dives toward Earth, experts stated. Agency officials also wrote that “the risk of harm coming to anyone on Earth is low — approximately 1 in 2,467”.
The Earth’s orbit has become an extremely crowded and dangerous place, with more than 30,000 pieces of orbital debris currently being tracked by global space surveillance networks.
The European Space Agency estimates that about 1 million objects between 0.4 inches and 4 inches (1 to 10 centimeters) wide are in orbit around our planet.
Tiny shards of this debris, if in contact with a satellite or spacecraft, can cause serious irreparable damage.
The RHESSI satellite was launched into space to study solar flares and coronal mass ejections with an imaging spectrometer that recorded X-rays and gamma rays.
The spacecraft recorded more than 100,000 X-ray events, which enabled scientists to study the energetic particles in solar flares.