Former Russian probe could crash on Earth

Former Russian probe could crash on Earth

The Kosmos 482 probe is a Soviet probe launched on March 31, 1972 with the aim of landing on the planet Venus. However, due to a technical failure, the probe in question has never really been able to leave Earth's orbit, and it has been around the world for 47 years.

Kosmos 482

At the time, for Russia, it was only a half-failure since the twin probe of Kosmis 482, baptized Venara 8 succeeded perfectly in getting out of our orbit until going to crash on Venus. Faced with the extreme conditions of the planet, the probe survived a little less than an hour before being destroyed.

Kosmos 482 for its part therefore remains in orbit, worse, the probe consists of several pieces, the largest of which weighs almost 500 kg, it has been under surveillance for all this time in order to avoid any collision with a launcher, another satellite or even the ISS. Scientists expected the probe to decrease in speed until it could no longer remain in orbit by 2023 or 2025. But it appears that the probe has slowed down earlier than expected and that the centrifugal force that is driving it keeps in orbit is no longer able to stop its fall.

The bad news is that Kosmos was designed to survive a penetration into the atmosphere of Venus, so it is surrounded by a shield that will undoubtedly allow it to resist an entry into our atmosphere without destroying itself, it could therefore reach the ground …

The fall could take place by the end of the year or the beginning of next year. For the moment it is impossible to precisely estimate the point of impact. Recall, however, that the surface of our planet is mainly covered by oceans, and even in the case of an impact on Earth, the share of inhabited area remains very low compared to the total surface.