Big, dead satellite’s crash was a space-junk wakeup call, experts say

There is some interesting residual fallout from the recent nosedive to Earth of the European Remote Sensing satellite, or ERS-2.

Following its launch in April 1995, ERS-2 studied our planet for nearly 16 years. Then, in 2011, the European Space Agency (ESA) decided to bring the radar-toting spacecraft’s mission to an end. The agency commanded a series of deorbit maneuvers, which lowered the satellite’s average altitude and mitigated the risk of collision with other satellites or space debris.

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