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This is why Sputnik crashed back to earth after only 3 months

<div _ngcontent-c14 = "" innerhtml = " A technician who worked at Sputnik in 1957 before launch. After just 3…


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A technician who worked at Sputnik in 1957 before launch. After just 3 months in space, Sputnik 1

fell back to earth because of atmospheric features, a problem that plagues all terrestrial satellites still today. NASA / Asif A. Siddiqi

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 which stood above the earth’s atmosphere and entered a orbit around our planet, circumvented every 90 minutes. Under the extremely low light pollution conditions that existed most of the world, it was the only and only object of its kind: an artificial, created satellite. Unofficially marked the beginning of spacecraft, a military and political endeavor which would consume international politics for decades to come.

But Sputnik itself is no longer in circulation around the world. It was actually so short-lived that in the time the United States successfully launched e Explorer 1 The first US satellite in space, Sputnik 2, which carries the first animal in space, had already circled around the world for several months. But the original Sputnik, after over 1400 lanes, had already fallen back to earth.

The three men are responsible for the success of Explorer 1, America’s first Earth satellite launched January 31, 1958. William Pickering (L), James Van Allen (middle) and Werner von Braun (right) were responsible for the satellite, science instrument and rocket which launched Explorer 1. NASA

What happened to Sputnik was not uncommon. In fact, this happens with most satellites if you start them on the ground and leave them there to take care of themselves. With every path that goes, the satellite will swing at the aphelion, reaching its maximum distance from the surface of the earth, followed by perihelion, where it makes its closest approach to the ground. For orbiting orbiting, it usually means that satellites are a few hundred kilometers above the earth’s surface, even closest. Bearing in mind that we draw the line between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space at an altitude of only 100 kilometers (62 miles), it seems at least superficial that these satellites would be fixed and forever in space.

An uncontrolled re-entry, as illustrated here, can cause large, massive pieces to land pretty much anywhere on earth. Heavy solid objects, like Hubble’s primary mirror, can easily cause significant damage or even kill, depending on where these pieces landed. ESA

But in reality, the situation is much more complicated. The atmosphere has no sudden end, or an edge to it. It’s not how a gas works if it’s made up of real particles. As you go to higher heights, the density of the particles will continue to fall, but the different particles heated by collisions will move at different speeds: slightly faster, a little slower but with a well-defined average speed.

The higher you go, the more likely you are to find particles that are more energetic, as it takes more energy to reach these extreme heights. But even though the density is extremely low at very high heights, it never falls to zero.

Earth’s atmosphere, as shown here to scale, rises far higher than the usually defined space limit. Each object in the Earth’s orbit is subjected to atmospheric drawing at any level. The Stratosphere and the troposphere, however, contain more than 95% of the Earth’s atmosphere and virtually all of the ozone. Wikimedia Commons Kelvinsong

We have found atoms and molecules that remain tied to the earth at altitudes up to 10,000 km (6,200 miles). The only reason we have not gone beyond that point is that over 10,000 kilometers, the Earth’s atmosphere is inseparable from the solar wind, consisting of both thin, hot atoms and ionized particles.

The overwhelming majority of our atmosphere (by mass) is found in the lowest layers, with the troposphere containing 75% of the world’s atmopshere, the stratosphere contains an additional 20% and the mesosphere contains almost all remaining 5%. But the next layer, the thermosphere, is incredibly diffuse.

The troposphere (orange), the stratosphere (white) and the mesosphere (blue) is where the overwhelming majority of the molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere lie. But beyond that, air is still present, causing the satellites to fall and eventually interrupted if left alone. NASA / Expedition Crew 22

While an atmospheric particle at sea level will travel a microscopic distance before colliding with another molecule, the thermosphere is so diffuse that a typical atom or molecule up there can move for one kilometer or more before a collision occurs.

At the top of the thermosphere, it seems safe as empty space if you are just a small atom or molecule. After all, you rise from the atmosphere of the earth, you linger in this low density ground while on the top of your parabolic orbit, and slowly you eventually fall back to your home plane under gravity.

Flock weather satellites were only placed in circulation in recent years. For some lucky skywatchers, a Flock 2 satellite was visible in 2017 total eclipse. By the 2030s, they all have fallen back to earth. NASA

But if you’re a spacecraft, you’re experiencing something very different. The reasons are as follows:

  1. You do not only rise from the ground, but circle it, which means you move in another direction to the thin atmospheric particles.
  2. Because you are in a stable orbit, you must move fast: about 7 km / s to remain in space.
  3. And you’re no longer just an atom or molecule size, but rather the size of a spacecraft.

In total, all three of these things lead to disaster for all satellites.

Thousands of artificial objects – 95% of them “space rubbish” – occupy low soil. Each black point in this image shows either a working satellite, an inactive satellite, or a piece of junk. Although the space around the earth looks crowded, each dot is much larger than the satellite or junk it represents, and collisions are extremely rare. NASA Illustrative Rights Orbital Debris Program Office

Such a disaster is inevitable due to satellite drag which is a way to quantify the amount of speed a satellite loses over time due to the atmospheric particles that Entering high relative speeds. Any satellite on earth will have a lifespan from a few months to a few decades, but no longer than that. You can fight this by going to higher heights, but also that will not save you forever.

Every time there is activity on the sun, like sun rays, sun spots, coronary mass ejections or other eruptions, the Earth’s atmosphere is heated. Hotter particles mean higher speeds and higher speeds will flow up to higher and higher elevations, which increases the density of the atmosphere even in space. When that occurs, even satellites that are virtually cordless will begin to fall back to earth. Magnetic storms can also increase air tightness at extremely high heights.

This is a fake image of ultraviolet Aurora Australis captured by NASA’s IMAGE satellite and featured on NASA’s satellite-based Blue Marble image. The earth is displayed in false color; However, the Aurora image is correct. Solar activity not only causes these auroras, but warms the atmosphere and increases the satellite drag at all heights. NASA

And this process is cumulative, in the sense that when a satellite experiences to drag, its perihelion drops to lower and lower heights. Now, at these lower heights, the tensile strength increases even further, causing you to lose your kinetic energy that keeps you in circulation even faster. The final death spiral can take thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of lanes, but in just 90 minutes per orbit, it means that any satellite-based satellite path lives for decades.

Foget NASA-USGS Landsat satellites have provided continuous coverage and surveillance of Earth’s space from space since 1972. The Landsat program’s images have all been free for public use since the Bush administration, but a proposal earlier this year should charge for use of this critical data. Without replacement satellites launched regularly, this program and all programs dependent on low-ground satellites will come to a sudden end once this century. NASA

This fall-back-to-earth issue was not just a problem for the early 1950s satellites, but still a problem for almost all satellites we’ve ever launched. 95% of all human-created satellites are in terrain, including the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope . If we do not periodically increase these spacecraft, many of them would have crashed back down on earth already.

Both Hubble and ISS would have less than 10 years left in their current lanes if we only let them die. And when large satellites do so, they do what we call an uncontrolled reintegration. Ideally, they will burn into the atmosphere or fall into the ocean, but if they break up and / or land, they can cause disaster. This can range from damage to property damage due to the location and size of the garbage’s impact.

The soft capture mechanism installed on Hubble (illustration) uses a low impact docking interface (LIDS) interface Relative navigation target for future rendezvous, capture and docking. The system’s LIDS interface is designed to be compatible with the rendezvous and docking systems to be used on next generation space transport vehicles. NASA

Hubble does not have to suffer this fate at the end of his life, though. As & nbsp; Michael Massimino, one of the astronauts who served Hubble aboard the space shuttle for the last time in 2009, related:

Its circulation will expire. The telescope will be fine, but its orbit will bring it closer and closer to the ground. That’s when the game is over.

Hubble’s final service mission & nbsp; included a docking mechanism installed on the telescope: Soft Capture and Rendezvous System. Any properly equipped rocket can safely take it home.

The atmospheric reintroduction of a satellite, such as the satellite shown here, can either continue in a controlled manner, where it will break up and / or land safely in the ocean or in an uncontrolled manner, which may prove to be disastrous for both human life and property. NASA

But for the 25,000 + other satellites in the Earth’s orbit there is no controlled re-entry coming. Earth’s atmosphere takes them down and stretches far beyond the artificial edge of space, or K & aacute; rm & aacute; a line that we usually draw. If we would stop launching satellites today, then for a century, there would be no remaining traces of humanity’s presence in the earth’s orbit.

Sputnik 1 was launched in 1957 and only three months later spontaneously declined and fell back to earth. The particles from our atmosphere rise far above the artificial line we have drawn, affecting all our terrestrial satellites. The longer your perihelion is, the longer you can stay up there, the harder it will be to send and receive signals from here on the surface. Before we have a fuel-free technology to passively increase our satellites to keep them in a more stable orbit, the Earth’s atmosphere will continue to be the most destructive force for humanity’s presence in space.

A technician working with Sputnik 1 in 1957 before launch. After just 3 months in space, Sputnik 1 fell back to earth because of atmospheric drag, a problem that plagues all terrestrial satellites that are not yet Today. NASA / Asif A Siddiqi

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, which rose above the earth’s atmosphere and entered a orbit around our planet, circumvented it once every 90 minutes. The extremely low light pollution conditions that existed across most of the world were then the only and only thing of its kind: an artificial satellite-based satellite. Unofficially marked the space race, a military and political endeavor that would consume international politics for decades to come. [19659003] But Sputnik himself is not in circulation around the world anymore. The fact is that it was so short-lived that with the United States successfully launched Explorer 1, the first American a satellite in space, Sputnik 2, which carries the first animal in space, had already circled around the world for several months. But the original Sputnik, after over 1400 lanes, had already fallen back to earth.

The three men are responsible for the success of Explorer 1, America’s first Earth satellite, launched on January 31, 1958. William Pickering (L), James Van Allen (middle) and Werner von Braun (right) were responsible for the satellite, science and rocket which launched Explorer 1. NASA

What happened to Sputnik was not uncommon. In fact, this happens with most satellites if you start them on the ground and leave them there to take care of themselves. With every path that goes, the satellite will swing at the aphelion, reaching its maximum distance from the surface of the earth, followed by perihelion, where it makes its closest approach to the ground. For orbiting orbiting, it usually means that satellites are a few hundred kilometers above the earth’s surface, even closest. Bearing in mind that we draw the line between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space at an altitude of only 100 kilometers (62 miles), it seems at least superficial that these satellites would be fixed and forever in space.

An uncontrolled re-entry, as illustrated here, can cause large, massive pieces to land pretty much anywhere on earth. Heavy solid objects, like Hubble’s primary mirror, can easily cause significant damage or even kill, depending on where these pieces landed. ESA

But in reality, the situation is much more complicated. The atmosphere has no sudden end, or an edge to it. It’s not how a gas works if it’s made up of real particles. As you go to higher heights, the density of the particles will continue to fall, but the different particles heated by collisions will move at different speeds: slightly faster, a little slower but with a well-defined average speed.

The higher you go, the more likely you are to find particles that are more energetic, as it takes more energy to reach these extreme heights. But even though the density is extremely low at very high heights, it never falls to zero.

Earth’s atmosphere, as shown here to scale, rises much higher than the usually defined space limit. Each object in the Earth’s orbit is subjected to atmospheric drawing at any level. The Stratosphere and the troposphere, however, contain more than 95% of the Earth’s atmosphere and virtually all of the ozone. Wikimedia Commons Kelvinsong

We have found atoms and molecules that remain tied to the earth at altitudes up to 10,000 km (6,200 miles). The only reason we have not gone beyond that point is that over 10,000 kilometers, the Earth’s atmosphere is inseparable from the solar wind, consisting of both thin, hot atoms and ionized particles.

The overwhelming majority of our atmosphere (by mass) is found in the lowest layers, with the troposphere containing 75% of the world’s atmopshere, the stratosphere contains an additional 20% and the mesosphere contains almost all remaining 5%. But the next layer, the thermosphere, is incredibly diffuse.

The troposphere (orange), the stratosphere (white) and the mesosphere (blue) is where the overwhelming majority of the molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere lie. But beyond that, air is still present, causing the satellites to fall and eventually interrupted if left alone. NASA / Expedition Crew 22

While an atmospheric particle at sea level will travel a microscopic distance before colliding with another molecule, the thermosphere is so diffuse that a typical atom or molecule up there can move for one kilometer or more before a collision occurs.

At the top of the thermosphere, it seems safe as empty space if you are just a small atom or molecule. After all, you got up from the atmosphere of the earth, you linger in this low density ground while at the top of your parabolic orbit, and slowly you eventually fall back to your home plane under gravity.

Flock weather satellites were only placed in circulation in recent years. For some lucky skywatchers, a Flock 2 satellite was visible in 2017 total eclipse. By the 2030s, they all have fallen back to earth. NASA

But if you’re a spacecraft, you’re experiencing something very different. The reasons are as follows:

  1. You do not only rise from the ground, but circle it, which means you move in another direction to the thin atmospheric particles.
  2. Because you are in a stable orbit, you must move fast: about 7 km / s to remain in space.
  3. And you’re no longer just an atom or molecule size, but rather the size of a spacecraft.

Overall, all three of these things lead to a disaster for all satellites.

Thousands of artificial objects – 95% of them “space rubbish” – occupy low soil. Each black point in this image shows either a working satellite, an inactive satellite, or a piece of junk. Although the space around the earth looks crowded, each dot is much larger than the satellite or junk it represents, and collisions are extremely rare. NASA Illustrator Authority Orbital Debris Program Office

Such a disaster is inevitable due to satellite drag which is a way to quantify how much speed a satellite loses over time due to the atmospheric particles it enters at high relative speeds . Any satellite on earth will have a lifespan from a few months to a few decades, but no longer than that. You can fight this by going to higher heights, but also that will not save you forever.

Every time there is activity on the sun, like sun rays, sun spots, coronary mass ejections or other eruptions, the Earth’s atmosphere is heated. Hotter particles mean higher speeds and higher speeds will flow up to higher and higher elevations, which increases the density of the atmosphere even in space. When that occurs, even satellites that are virtually cordless will begin to fall back to earth. Magnetic storms can also increase air tightness at extremely high heights.

This is a fake image of ultraviolet Aurora Australis captured by NASA’s IMAGE satellite and featured on NASA’s satellite-based Blue Marble image. The earth is displayed in false color; However, the Aurora image is correct. Solar activity not only causes these auroras, but warms the atmosphere and increases the satellite drag at all heights. NASA

And this process is cumulative, in the sense that when a satellite experiences to drag, its perihelion drops to lower and lower heights. Now, at these lower heights, the tensile strength increases even further, causing you to lose your kinetic energy that keeps you in circulation even faster. The final death spiral can take thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of lanes, but in just 90 minutes per orbital it means that satellite-based satellites live over decades.

Foget NASA-USGS Landsat satellites have provided continuous coverage and surveillance of Earth’s space from space since 1972. The Landsat program’s images have all been free for public use since the Bush administration, but a proposal earlier this year should charge for use of this critical data. Without replacement satellites launched regularly, this program and all programs dependent on low-ground satellites will come to a sudden end once this century. NASA

This fall-back-to-earth issue was not just a problem for the early 1950s satellites, but still a problem for almost all satellites we’ve ever launched. 95% of all human-created satellites are located in terrain, including the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope. If we do not periodically increase these spacecraft, many of them would have crashed back down on earth already.

Both Hubble and ISS would have less than 10 years left in their current lanes if we only let them die. And when large satellites do so, they do what we call an uncontrolled reintegration. Ideally, they will burn into the atmosphere or fall into the ocean, but if they break up and / or land, they can cause disaster. This can range from damage to property damage due to the location and size of the garbage’s impact.

The soft capture mechanism installed on Hubble (illustration) uses a low impact docking interface (LIDS) interface Relative navigation target for future rendezvous, capture and docking. The system’s LIDS interface is designed to be compatible with the rendezvous and docking systems to be used on next generation space transport vehicles. NASA

Hubble does not have to suffer this fate at the end of his life, though. As Michael Massimino, one of the astronauts serving Hubble aboard the space shuttle for the last time of 2009, related:

Its orbit will expire. The telescope will be fine, but its orbit will bring it closer and closer to the ground. That’s when the game is over.

Hubble’s final service mission included a docking mechanism installed on the telescope: Soft Capture and Rendezvous System. A suitably equipped rocket can safely take it home.

The atmospheric reintroduction of a satellite, such as the satellite shown here, can either continue in a controlled manner, where it will break up and / or land safely in the sea or in an uncontrolled manner, which may prove to be disastrous for both human life and property. NASA

But for the 25,000 + other satellites in the Earth’s orbit there is no controlled re-entry coming. Earth’s atmosphere takes them down and stretches far beyond the artificial edge of space, or the Kármán line that we usually wear. If we would stop launching satellites today, then for a century, there would be no remaining traces of humanity’s presence in the earth’s orbit.

Sputnik 1 was launched in 1957 and only three months later spontaneously declined and fell back to earth. The particles from our atmosphere rise far above the artificial line we have drawn, affecting all our terrestrial satellites. The longer your perihelion is, the longer you can stay up there, the harder it will be to send and receive signals from here on the surface. Until we have a fuel-free technology to passively increase our satellites to keep them in a more stable orbit, the Earth’s atmosphere will continue to be the most destructive force for humanity’s presence in space.


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