Not even NASA’s fancy cosmic toys are able to last forever in this evanescent Universe. Not even those imposing and powerful stars that nurture entire planets with heat and energy cannot live forever. Now it’s the turn for one of NASA’s satellites to say goodbye to cosmic exploration: the Orbiting Geophysics Observatory 1 (OGO-1).
The satellite is over half a century old (56 years, to be more precise), and it had the mission to study the effects of the Sun upon the Earth’s magnetic field.
It retired long ago
OGO-1 was disabled in 1969, after five years of studying the star that allows the existence of all life on Earth. But although it remained in orbit, the satellite is approaching its utmost downfall. The gear will soon crash towards Earth and be disintegrated in the atmosphere due to air friction. However, there’s no reason to worry that the remnants of the satellite will smash into someone’s head, as NASA said in a statement the following:
The spacecraft will break up in the atmosphere and poses no threat to our planet — or anyone on it — and this is a normal final operational occurrence for retired spacecraft,
The NASA officials also detailed by saying:
OGO-1 is predicted to re-enter on one of its next three perigees, the points in the spacecraft’s orbit closest to our plant, and current estimates have OGO-1 re-entering Earth’s atmosphere on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, at about 5:10 p.m. EDT [2110 GMT], over the South Pacific approximately halfway between Tahiti and the Cook Islands,
The University of Hawaii’s Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) and the University of Arizona’s Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) predicted the forecast of the satellite entering Earth’s atmosphere.
There are still plenty of NASA satellites currently orbiting Earth: the International Space Station, Aqua, Sputnik 1, Terra, Uhuru, LAGEOS-1, Aura, Mir, Hitomi, Ats-3, Explorer 11, and more.