RXTE spacecraft will enter over the tropics

RXTE spacecraft will enter over the tropics

Technicians work on RXTE in 1995

It is expected that around May 1, fragments of the NASA RXTE spacecraft will fall to Earth. This mission was looking for sources of X-rays. On January 12, 2012, the device was decommissioned.

The US space surveillance network controls the descent of the RXTE. In January 2018, it was established that the mission should re-enter the earth’s atmosphere. Most of the spacecraft will burn during an uncontrolled fall.

The exact location of the entrance is difficult to determine, but the orbit indicates the tropics between 23 degrees c. sh. and 23 degrees south. sh. Europe, Russia, and much of North America and Japan were outside the potential fall zone. Since the beginning of the space age (1957), there has not been a single confirmed case of injury from the fall of artificial vehicles. Most of the RXTE must withstand the descent, since non-toxic methane was used as the material. But the fragments are endowed with sharp edges, so they can not be touched or processed.

The analysis shows that approximately 50% of the fragments must survive. The probability of hitting a person is 1 in 992. The RXTE mission was launched in 1995. The significance of the new type of X-ray data obtained by RXTE is recognized by the scientific community. Information allowed to better understand the behavior of matter under extreme conditions, such as neutron stars or black holes.

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