Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

European experts follow satellite reentry

Date:
September 27, 2011
Source:
European Space Agency (ESA)
Summary:
The European Space Agency closely monitored the Sept. 24, 2011 reentry of the UARS observation satellite. The Agency’s Space Debris Office worked with NASA and international partners in a coordinated prediction and risk-assessment exercise.

The SSA programme is enabling Europe to detect hazards to critical space infrastructure. This artist's impression illustrates just some of the missions in orbit that may be affected by collisions with space debris objects or by deleterious space weather.
Credit: ESA - P. Carrill

The European Space Agency closely monitored the 24 September reentry of the UARS observation satellite. The Agency's Space Debris Office worked with NASA and international partners in a coordinated prediction and risk-assessment exercise.

NASA's non-operational Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) reentered Earth's atmosphere on 24 September 2011 between 05:23 and 07:09 CEST. The precise reentry time and location of debris impacts from the 5.6-tonne satellite have not been determined. No injuries or damage have been reported.

Since the beginning of the space age, there has been no confirmed report of an injury resulting from reentering space objects.

"Atmospheric drag reduced the satellite's speed from 27 000 km/hr such that the remaining fragments might have reached the surface at just 200 km/hr," said Prof. Heiner Klinkrad, Head of ESA's Space Debris Office.

ESA central to international tracking exercise

The reentry was closely monitored by ESA experts working with international partners in a technical body known as the Inter-Agency Debris Coordination Committee (IADC).

ESA also communicated regular updates to European civil protection authorities.

IADC is an inter-agency forum for the worldwide coordination of activities related to the issues of artificial and natural debris in space. Member agencies include ESA, NASA, European national agencies and the Russian, Chinese, Canadian, Japanese, Ukrainian and Indian space agencies.

In recent years, IADC members have developed a data communication network specifically supporting hazardous reentry risk assessment, which allows the exchange of tracking data and the refinement of reentry predictions in the event of an expected reentry.

Central IADC data server at ESOC, Darmstadt

The server for the network is located at ESOC, ESA's Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany, where it is managed by the Space Debris Office.

"Last week's reentry did not meet IADC's scientific criterion as a 'risk object'. However, the network is exercised annually, and, upon NASA's initiative, the UARS reentry was selected by IADC as a target for the 2011 exercise," said Klinkrad.

"No NASA human casualty reentry risk limits existed when UARS was designed, built, and launched. Today, ESA and many IADC members seek to limit human injury reentry risks to below 1 in 10,000. This is reflected in the long-standing interest in space debris mitigation and debris detection by ESA and other space-faring organisations."

Results of the UARS reentry exercise will be used by IADC members to improve reentry models and make predictions more accurate.

For more than 20 years, Space Debris Office has been working closely with international partners to improve the understanding of orbital debris, work on mitigation measures and share research results.

ESA's SSA programme: watching for hazards from space

In 2009, the Agency launched the Space Situational Awareness Preparatory Programme (SSA-PP), aiming to increase Europe's capabilities to detect, predict and assess the risk to life and property due to artificial space objects, re-entries, on-orbit collisions, potential impacts of Near Earth Objects, and the effects of space weather.

"One role of the SSA programme is to further develop European capabilities that will provide Europe accurate follow-up and re-entry predictions of these kinds of events," says Nicolas Bobrinsky, Head of the SSA-PP Office.

"A longer warning time and more accurate predictions will assist civil authorities to react in the most appropriate manner, protecting people and property on Earth."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency (ESA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency (ESA). "European experts follow satellite reentry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927072621.htm>.
European Space Agency (ESA). (2011, September 27). European experts follow satellite reentry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927072621.htm
European Space Agency (ESA). "European experts follow satellite reentry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927072621.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

AFP (July 30, 2014) The European Space Agency's fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) is takes off to the International Space Station on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

AP (July 30, 2014) Arianespace launched a rocket Tuesday from French Guiana carrying a robotic cargo ship to deliver provisions to the International Space Station. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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