The ERS-2 satellite entered the Earth's atmosphere

ERS-2, an observation satellite launched into space nearly 30 years ago, reentered Earth's atmosphere on Wednesday, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced. The object remained in orbit for more than an hour before falling over the North Pacific Ocean.

When it was launched in April 1995, ERS-2 was the most advanced Earth observation satellite ever built in Europe. In cooperation with its sister model, ERS-1, it collected valuable data on land surfaces, oceans, and polar caps, and monitored natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes. In 2011, the European Space Agency decided to end the mission. A series of maneuvers were performed that lowered the satellite's altitude and turned it into a negative state.

The satellite entered the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean

On Wednesday, the two-ton object reentered Earth's atmosphere. According to the European Space Agency, this happened at 6:17 pm our time over the northern part of the Pacific Ocean between Alaska and Hawaii.

Earlier, the European Space Agency stated that the vast majority of the satellite will burn up in the Earth's atmosphere, and that the largest part of the object that can reach the surface of our planet should weigh no more than 52 kilograms.

Before ERS-2 entered Earth's atmosphere, it orbited close to it for about 17 minutes. The satellite was then over the Pacific Ocean, heading for Point Nemo, an area in the South Pacific that is farthest from any land on Earth. This place is also referred to as the spaceship graveyard. According to estimates, more than 260 space objects have landed there since the 1970s.

About half an hour later, the object passed over Antarctica and then headed toward the east coast of Africa. The first country he visited was Mozambique. ERS-2 then crossed Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.

After leaving Africa, ERS-2 was then launched and on January 18, it moved over Europe, Greenland and North America before returning to the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica before heading towards West Africa, where its observations ended.

ESA,, The Independent

Main image source: European Space Agency

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