In earth orbit there is a lot of space debris. Basically it is small particle size from a few millimeters to several centimeters. Typically, such debris for the Earth no danger is not. Once in the atmosphere, these particles burn quickly and to the surface do not get. At least, according to the portal, Science Alert, to date there have been no confirmed cases of falling space debris someone in the head. Everything could change this year, unless very unlucky. After all this time talking about the whole faulty Soviet space probe “Kosmos-482” weighing almost 500 pounds. Why such confidence? The fact that the probe has a very powerful thermal protection, so the unit can fully and burn when entering the atmosphere.
The Soviet Union at the end of March 1972, launched two spacecraft “Venera-8” and “Kosmos-482”. Both were intended to study Venus. Posted 27 March station “Venaria-8” successfully reached its goal and became the second spacecraft in history to successfully reach the surface of Venus in July of the same year. The first was the Soviet station “Venera-7”, which landed on the surface of the second planet from the Sun in December 1970.
Launched on 31 March 1972 “Space-482” due to a failure in the booster failed to reach orbit, eventually breaking into pieces. Within a few months after launch some of its fragments hit the Earth’s atmosphere and burned. But in earth orbit have remained the main part of the probe, weighing 495 kilograms, with a frequency of 112 hours makes one revolution around the planet and is constantly decreasing. According to preliminary estimates of experts of the Soviet station were to fall to the Ground somewhere in 2023-2025 years, however, a more recent assessment indicates the possibility of an earlier fall of the apparatus on the Ground.
According to experts, it is likely that he does not completely burn up in the atmosphere and reaches the Earth’s surface, since it is equipped with a powerful thermal protection, which would allow him to work in the Venusian environment.
“The lander will easily survive the atmospheric entry. It would be amazing if you could decline was the opening of the parachute. But I’m sure the Pyros, which is designed for opening the parachute, the long-failed”, — quotes Space.com the words of the expert on tracking satellites of Oklahoma Thomas Dorman.
According to experts, the machine, which is now in orbit with an apogee of 1700 km and a perigee of 200 km, can enter the dense layers of the atmosphere or at the end of this year or early next.
“The difficulty is that no one can predict solar activity, which will affect the rate of descent of the device,” added Dorman.
Should I be concerned? It is difficult to say. Although the likelihood of danger seems unlikely. Even large objects of space debris, for example, the same orbital Chinese space station “Tiangong-1” that fell to Earth last year, ended his days in the ocean – in the end it is water that occupies the largest surface area of our planet.
Modern spacecraft are typically designed with the possibility of combustion in the dense layers of the atmosphere in the event of an accident, but we’re talking about the probe that was created almost 50 years ago. And as history shows the American space station “Skylab”, which fell in 1973 in Australia, to predict the exact place of falling of such devices extremely difficult.
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