The wind satellite is set for the unprecedented “assisted” re-entry

A satellite of strong winds lost altitude at a steady pace of about 1 mile each Today, it is falling toward the Earth’s surface. The European Space Agency (ESA) will try to guide the satellite on its way down to reduce the risk of damage like it to cut Hit the ground.

The European Space Agency’s Aeolus satellite, named after the ruler of the winds from Greek mythology, has been orbiting Earth for the past five years, measuring the planet’s winds on a global scale. Unfortunately, the satellite almost runs out of fuel and is being dragged down from its orbital height of 198 miles (320 kilometers) by gravity and Increased atmospheric clouds due to the recent altitude in solar activity.

Aeolus was not designed for a controlled re-entry through Earth’s atmosphere. Alternatively, left to its own devices, the satellite will keep losing altitude until it finally burns up in Earth’s atmosphere in a few months, with parts of Aeolus crashing into unspecified locations.

In order to prevent pieces of debris from possible falling on populated areas, which would form danger to persons and property below, a team at ESA will first attempt-to-that it-Assisted return type. Tim Flohrer, head of the European Space Agency’s Space Debris Office, said in a report statement. “Once ESA and industrial partners found that it might be possible to reduce already minimal risks to life or infrastructure further, the wheels were set in motion.”

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to Help reduce the growing problem of defunct satellite transmission In Earth orbit, some satellites are equipped with controlled reentry technology that removes them from orbit to lower altitudes so that the impact site for potential debris is within a controlled area. Although Aeolus wasn’t built with this kind of technology, ESA’s team of engineers will still try. Lower it gently.

The satellite is currently losing altitude at a rate of 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) per day. Once Aeolus reaches an altitude of 173 miles (280 kilometers), the team will send a series of commands to the satellite over a period of six months.period of the day, using the remaining fuel to guide it towards the optimal position for atmospheric re-entry.

The final maneuver will be performed when the satellite is at an altitude of 93 miles (150 kilometers), pointing Aeolus toward its fiery return through Earth’s atmosphere. The majority of the satellite will burn up on re-entry, however Some pieces of debris may hit the ground. The goal of the re-entry assistance is for those pieces to land in remote areas.

“Should things go according to plan, Aeolus will be in line with current safety regulations for missions being designed today,” said Flohrer.

It’s hard to predict when Aeolus will make its way through Earth’s atmosphere; It is currently expected to be held from the end of July to the beginning of August.

The satellite’s descent will accelerate over time as it approaches the Earth and its gravitational field, plus the sun may speed things up even more if it’s emitted by solar flares or coronal mass ejections. cParticles from the sun heat Earth’s atmosphere, causing the air to become denser and the atmosphere more resistant to Aeolus, according to the European Space Agency.

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“We are confident in our ability to succeed in this pioneering effort that will set a new standard for space safety and sustainability now and in the future,” Tommaso Parinello, ESA’s Aeolus Mission Manager, said in the release.

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