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ESA’s Satellite ERS-2 Set to Reenter Earth's Atmosphere


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ESA’s Satellite ERS-2 Set to Reenter Earth's Atmosphere

ERS-2 has played a pivotal role in advancing our understanding of Earth's dynamics and environment.

Anticipation is mounting as the European Space Agency (ESA) prepares for the reentry of its Earth-observing ERS-2 satellite, expected to occur this week. The 5,000-pound satellite is poised to make a fiery descent into Earth's atmosphere, with Wednesday morning marked as the likely time for its dramatic return.

ESA's Space Debris Office, in collaboration with an international surveillance network, is diligently monitoring the trajectory of the ERS-2 satellite as it hurtles towards Earth. The reentry is forecasted to take place around 11:32 a.m. ET on Wednesday, though a window of uncertainty spanning approximately 4.5 hours surrounds this estimate. To keep the public informed, the ESA is providing live updates on its website, ensuring that enthusiasts can track the satellite's journey in real-time.

With an estimated mass of 5,057 pounds (2,294 kilograms), the ERS-2 satellite is comparable in size to other space debris that routinely reenters Earth's atmosphere. Once it reaches an altitude of approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) above the planet's surface, the satellite is expected to disintegrate, with the majority of its fragments burning up upon atmospheric entry.

The impending reentry of the ERS-2 satellite marks the culmination of its remarkable journey since its initial launch on April 21, 1995. As the most advanced satellite of its kind developed and launched by Europe at the time, ERS-2 has played a pivotal role in advancing our understanding of Earth's dynamics and environment.


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