An old NASA satellite is expected to fall to Earth this week, but experts who track the spacecraft say the odds are low that it will pose any danger.
According to NASA and the Department of Defense, the defunct science satellite known as Rhessi will plummet through the atmosphere Wednesday night.
NASA said Tuesday that the re-entry location has not been disclosed, given the ongoing uncertainty about when and where it could descend. Most of the 660-pound (300-kilogram) satellite should burn up on return, but some of its parts are expected to survive.
The space agency said in a statement that the risk of anyone on Earth being harmed by sinking satellite pieces is “low” — about 1 in 2,467.
Resi — short for Solar High Energy Spectroscopic Imager Reuven Ramati — blasted into orbit in 2002 to study the sun.
Before it was closed in 2018 due to communication problems, the satellite observed solar flares as well as coronal mass ejections from the sun. It has captured images in high-energy X-rays and gamma rays, recording more than 100,000 solar events.
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