I don’t understand why the European Space Agency and other agencies are allowed to design vehicles, or satellites that after having successfully completed their mission are left to return to Earth in an uncontrolled fall from space. Is it too difficult to program and include fuel for their controlled return? Skylab suffered the same fate and NASA was not too worried about its trajectory as it disintegrated while tumbling through Earth’s atmosphere. Eventually probability will catch up with their recklessness.
Doomed European Satellite May Fall to Earth Tonight, But Where?
A European satellite at the end of its mission is expected to fall out of space tonight. According to European Space Agency predictions, the falling GOCE satellite could to Earth sometime Sunday night (Nov. 10) or early Monday. “The satellite is at an altitude of 147 km (91 miles), dropping at a rate of more than 1 km (0.6 miles) an hour,” ESA’s GOCE spacecraft operations manager Christoph Steiger wrote in a status update today, adding that the atmospheric drag on the satellite is too high to measure. ESA scientists expect 25 to 45 fragments of the satellite to survive the fiery re-entry through Earth’s atmosphere.