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It spent 21 years in orbit before falling to Earth on Thursday morning

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The RHESSI satellite, after 21 years in low Earth orbit, fell to Earth. According to NASA experts, who owned the device, it entered the atmosphere on Wednesday night.

Reuven Ramaty’s High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) satellite has returned to Earth. The device re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere when the clocks in Poland showed 2.21 on Friday. NASA, which owned the satellite, reported that it spent 21 years in orbit. Five years ago, the satellite was turned off.

How we wrote on WednesdayThe U.S. Department of Defense predicted that the nearly 300-kilogram satellite would re-enter the atmosphere on Thursday, but was uncertain about the exact time of the event. Together with the US space agency, they constantly monitored the condition of the equipment. NASA also reassured that the vast majority of the satellite will burn up in the atmosphere, and the probability of injuring anyone on Earth with a piece of it is very low at approximately 1 in 2467 (about 0.04 percent).

The satellite entered the atmosphere over the Sahara desert. NASA’s assumptions turned out to be true – the satellite was mostly overcome by the Earth’s atmosphere.

RHESSI over the Earth – visualization NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

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He contributed to the knowledge of the Sun

In 2002, the device was launched aboard the Pegasus XL rocket constructed by Orbital Sciences Corporation. His goal was to observe electrons, which carry much of the energy released in solar flares. The satellite data provided many important clues about the activity of our day star, including coronal mass ejections. RHESSI has recorded more than 100,000 such events, allowing scientists to study energetic particles in solar flares. He also made discoveries unrelated to flares, which also had a huge impact on the knowledge of the Sun.

NASA decided to shut down the satellite after 16 years of operation due to increasing communication problems.

Main photo source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab



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