NASA's dead satellite crashes to Earth over the Sahara Desert

April 21, 2023  19:24

A decommissioned NASA spacecraft called RHESSI (Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager) has entered Earth's atmosphere and partially burned up in the Sahara desert. Debris from the satellite reportedly fell near the Sudan-Egypt border.

According to the data of the US military, on April 20, 2023, at 04:21 Yerevan time, the 270 kg satellite entered the Earth's atmosphere in the sub-Saharan region at about 26 degrees longitude and 21.3 degrees latitude, reports

Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist and satellite tracking specialist, wrote on Twitter that the remains of the satellite landed near the border of Sudan and Egypt. According to him, RHESSI was moving towards the northeast at the time of its fall.

NASA said it has not yet received information that the satellite has caused damaged or injured anyone as a result of the fall.

RHESSI was launched into low Earth orbit on a Pegasus XL rocket in February 2002. The device helped study solar flares and coronal mass ejections using a spectrometer sensitive to X-rays and gamma rays. During the mission, more than 100,000 events in the X-ray range were recorded, which helped to better understand the phenomena taking place on the Sun. RHESSI was decommissioned in 2018. 

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