Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Aging NASA Spacecraft To Reenter Earth's Atmosphere

Date:
January 30, 2002
Source:
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Summary:
Engineers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., predict a 7,000-pound spacecraft could re- enter the Earth's atmosphere as early as 10 p.m. EST on Jan. 30 or as late as 7 a.m. EST on Jan. 31. NASA's Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) is currently 200 kilometers (124 miles) above the Earth with a descent rate of 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) a day. The estimated debris field is expected to be 800 to 1,000 kilometers (500-625 miles).

Engineers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., predict a 7,000-pound spacecraft could re- enter the Earth's atmosphere as early as 10 p.m. EST on Jan. 30 or as late as 7 a.m. EST on Jan. 31.

Related Articles


NASA's Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) is currently 200 kilometers (124 miles) above the Earth with a descent rate of 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) a day. The estimated debris field is expected to be 800 to 1,000 kilometers (500-625 miles).

"The probability of the few EUVE surviving pieces falling into a populated area and hurting someone is very small. It is more likely that the small pieces will fall into the ocean or fall harmlessly to the ground," said Ronald E. Mahmot, Project Manager for Space Science Mission Operations at Goddard.

Unlike the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, which was safely de-orbited June 4, 2000, EUVE does not have an on-board propulsion system to allow engineers to control its re-entry. Much of EUVE will burn up in the atmosphere before ever reaching the ground. However, estimates show that up to nine objects ranging from approximately four to 100 pounds may survive re-entry. Much of this debris is made of titanium and stainless steel.

EUVE will start to break up when it falls to within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Earth. At this point, EUVE will have only four or five 90-minute orbits left before re- entering the Earth's atmosphere. Engineers will not know the re-entry point until approximately 12 hours prior to impact.

EUVE is in a 28.5-degree orbit and could re-enter in any location within this orbit range. This ranges includes areas as far north as Orlando, Fla., and as far south as Brisbane, Australia.

EUVE was launched on June 7, 1992. Science operations ended for the spacecraft in December 2001. During its early years, EUVE was operated from Goddard. In 1997, control of EUVE was transitioned from Goddard to the University of California, Berkeley and remained there until the program's termination in 2001. Slated for only three years, EUVE was operational for eight. NASA twice extended its scientific mission.

During its eight years in orbit, EUVE successfully opened a new window on the cosmos and helped to bridge the gap in our understanding of the extreme ultraviolet spectrum. Rather than seeing about 24 nearby objects as many predicted, EUVE observed more than 1,000 nearby sources, including more than three dozen objects outside our galaxy.

Additional background information about EUVE is available on the Internet at:

http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/euve/euve.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Aging NASA Spacecraft To Reenter Earth's Atmosphere." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020130074056.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (2002, January 30). Aging NASA Spacecraft To Reenter Earth's Atmosphere. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020130074056.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Aging NASA Spacecraft To Reenter Earth's Atmosphere." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020130074056.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What NASA Wants To Learn From Its 'Year In Space' Tests

What NASA Wants To Learn From Its 'Year In Space' Tests

Newsy (Mar. 28, 2015) Astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will spend a year in space running tests on human physiology and psychology. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crew Starts One-Year Space Mission

Crew Starts One-Year Space Mission

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 28, 2015) Russian-U.S. crew arrives safely at the International Space Station for the start of a ground-breaking year-long stay. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) The Asteroid Retrieval Mission announced this week bears little resemblance to its grand beginnings. Even NASA scientists are asking, "Why bother?" Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Station Crew Docks Safely

Space Station Crew Docks Safely

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) NASA TV footage shows the successful docking of a Russian Soyuz craft to the International Space Station for a year-long mission. Rough cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins