Paris (UPI) Jul 27, 2010
The European Space Agency is set to become the owner of what could become the most dangerous piece of space debris orbiting the Earth, officials say.
The agency will take control of the Envisat satellite, at more than 17,000 pounds the biggest non-military Earth observation satellite ever built, SPACE.com reported Tuesday.
When the Envisat mission ends in 2013, the retired satellite will become a huge "space junk" problem that will not go away for 150 years, experts say.
That is how long it will take for Envisat to be gradually pulled into the Earth's atmosphere, they predict.
In January, the upper stage of a Chinese rocket almost collided with Envisat, and ground controllers had to use the satellite's thrusters to move it out of the way.
Once Envisat is retired in three years, such maneuvers will no longer be possible, scientists say.
Had the collision happened, it would have polluted a highly populated portion of low-Earth orbit with large amounts of space debris, Heiner Klinkrad of ESA's space debris office said.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
Destroyed Chinese satellite close to ISS: official
Moscow (AFP) July 23, 2010
Debris from a satellite destroyed in 2007 by a Chinese missile is in the vicinity of the International Space Station and astronauts are ready to take cover if required, a Russian official said Friday. The shooting down of the Chinese weather satellite Feng Yun 1C by a ground missile launched from China at the time sparked international alarm and concern about the creation of dangerous space ... read more
Huge satellite to become 'space junk'|
Panasonic unveils 3D consumer camcorder
Amazon's Kindle sold out
Sweden's Larsson first to sell one million Kindle books
Raytheon's ASTOR Saving Lives In The Counterinsurgency Battle
Testing Of Australia's Network Centric Command And Control System Completed
Thales UK wins Congo army radio contract
Savi Ships Compact Mobile Tracking Systems For Marine Afghan Forces
Sea Launch Signs Agreement With EchoStar
ISRO To Launch GSLV With Cryo Engine Within An Year
Ariane 5 Is Ready For Its Payload Integration
NASA Tests Launch Abort System At Supersonic Speeds
ITT Navigation Payload Passes Key Milestone For Next Gen GPS Satellite
Lynden Transport Offers Real Time GPS Mapping For Tracking Shipments
Nationwide Insurance Provides Bait Vehicles To Houston Law Enforcement Agencies
Magellan Launches Next Gen Of eXplorist
Spanish military may replace absent air traffic controllers
China jumbo jet maker picks GE, Eaton as suppliers
Swiss solar plane makes history with round-the-clock flight
Solar Impulse plane packed with technology
Protein From Poplar Trees Can Be Used To Greatly Increase Computer Capacity
Polymer Synthesis Could Aid Future Electronics
Acer, Asus and Lenovo lead pack as PC sales surge
Intel posts 'best quarter' ever
GOES-13 Satellite Sees Severe Storms Strike US East Coast
Integral Systems Helps DigitalGlobe Enhance Earth Imaging Download Capacity
Cluster Makes Crucial Step In Understanding Space Weather
NASA Satellite Improves Pollution Monitoring
Over 1,000 chemical barrels washed into China river: report
Gulf beach closures up 10-fold since spill: report
BP to face spill victims in US court for first time
Nigeria records 3,000 oil spills since 2006: minister
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|