A NASA satellite is expected to fall to Earth later this week after nearly 40 years in space.

The Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) was launched in 1984. Space Shuttle Challenger.

He was initially sent into space at just two years old to study how Earth absorbs and radiates energy from the Sun.

But the satellite continued to make ozone and other atmospheric measurements until its retirement in 2005.

Now the 2,450 kg object is ready to fall back to Earth.

The Earth Radiation Budget satellite, which was launched aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1984, is to re-enter Earth's atmosphere after 38 years in space.  Photo: NASA
ERBS was launched into orbit by Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space.

According to NASA, most of the satellites will burn up on re-entry, but some pieces are expected to survive.

NASA He said the chance of debris falling on anyone was “extremely low” – the chance of someone on the ground being injured by falling debris is about one in 9,400.

But given Earth’s estimated population of 7.8 billion, the likelihood of one person being injured by debris is almost unimaginably high.

The satellite is expected to come down Sunday night, taking 17 hours. US Department of Defense.

The California-based aerospace corporation, however, is targeting 13 hours Monday morning, give or take.

The satellite is expected to pass through Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the western regions of North and South America.

ERBS was launched into orbit by Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, using Challenger’s robotic arm.

It was the second and final space flight for Ms Ride, who died in 2012.

The same mission also included the first spacewalk of the American woman Catherine Sullivan.

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