Dead rhino-sized European satellite CRASHES back to Earth after spending 18 ... trends now

Dead rhino-sized European satellite CRASHES back to Earth after spending 18 ... trends now
Dead rhino-sized European satellite CRASHES back to Earth after spending 18 ... trends now

Dead rhino-sized European satellite CRASHES back to Earth after spending 18 ... trends now

The dead European satellite the size of a rhino has reentered Earth's atmosphere over the North Pacific Ocean between Alaska and Hawaii.

The European Space Agency (ESA) confirmed the reentry of European Remote Sensing 2 (ERS-2) on Wednesday at 2:59pm ET (7:59 GMT).

The satellite first launched on April 21, 1995 to study our planet’s land, oceans and ice caps - it was decommissioned in 2011.

ESA had prepared for reentry today, but spent hours monitoring the skies with no confirmation the satellite had fallen back to Earth.

ERS-2 broke up into pieces as it came crashing through the atmosphere and while there was no guarantee it would not hit someone, ESA pointed out that the annual risk of any human being injured by space debris is under one in 100 billion.

The out-of-control dead European satellite the size of a rhino has reentered Earth's atmosphere over the North Pacific Ocean between Alaska and Hawaii

The out-of-control dead European satellite the size of a rhino has reentered Earth's atmosphere over the North Pacific Ocean between Alaska and Hawaii

ERS-2 weighs just over 5,000 pounds – about the same as an adult rhinoceros.

ESA had estimated reentry would take place at 10:49am ET, but the satellite continued orbiting Earth for about another hour - and the agency did not receive confirmation it fell into the ocean until the afternoon.

The uncertainty was due to ‘the influence of unpredictable solar activity, which affects the density of Earth’s atmosphere and therefore the drag experienced by the satellite,’ ESA shared in a statement.

Even more, it was not until the last 24 hours did the ESA identified a crash target.

However, data had pinpointed the satellite’s reentry over the southeast of Africa, potentially northern Mozambique or central Malawi, which are inhabited by people.

Dr James Blake, a space debris researcher at the University of Warwick, said this is just one of thousands of active and defunct satellites orbiting the Earth.

The European Space Agency (ESA) confirmed the reentry of ERS-2 on Wednesday at 2:59pm ET, which first launched on April 21, 1995 to study our planet’s land, oceans and ice caps - it was decommissioned in 2011

The European Space Agency (ESA) confirmed the reentry of ERS-2 on Wednesday at 2:59pm ET, which first launched on April 21, 1995 to

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