European satellite tv for pc plunges again to Earth in first-of-its-kind assisted re-entry

Artist's illustration showing the orbital tracks of the European Space Agency's Aeolus satellite.

Enlarge / Artist’s illustration displaying the orbital tracks of the European House Company’s Aeolus satellite tv for pc. (credit score: ESA/ATG medialab)

The European House Company deftly guided considered one of its satellites towards a fiery re-entry into Earth’s ambiance Friday, demonstrating a brand new technique of post-mission disposal to make sure the spacecraft wouldn’t fall into any populated areas.

The Aeolus satellite tv for pc was comparatively modest in dimension and mass—about 1.1 metric tons with its gas tank empty—however ESA hailed Friday’s “assisted re-entry” as proof that the house company takes the stewardship of house significantly.

When the Aeolus mission was conceived within the late 1990s, there have been no tips for European satellites concerning house particles or the protection of their re-entry. Aeolus took almost 20 years to get to the launch pad, operated in house for 5 years, and now laws have modified. Future ESA satellites will must be able to a focused re-entry, the place rocket engines steer the spacecraft towards a selected patch of ocean or are designed to deplete from aerodynamic heating.

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