Kosmos 482, the Soviet probe is in freefall

Kosmos 482, the Soviet probe is in freefall

After the Chinese Space Station the Soviet Kosmos 482 probe could also fall towards our planet between the end of 2019 and 2020.

It was 1972 when the Kosmos 482 probe left the Earth on board the Molniya rocket, towards Venus. Today the vehicle, which has never reached its destination, could return to our planet in a completely uncontrolled way, much earlier than expected. The Soviet space probe had difficulty from the beginning remaining “stuck” in a sort of limbo in the Earth’s atmosphere, far from Venus. Subsequently, the vehicle broke down into several parts, some crashed on our planet while the main module remained in orbit, until today. The object is adrift and travels at very high speed, taking less than two hours to make a complete orbit around the Earth. Kosmos 482 follows a strongly elliptical trajectory with a perigee of only 210 kilometers and an apogee of 2,400 kilometers and continues to approach our planet.

A “dangerous” path, according to the scientist Thoma Dorman who has been following the object’s orbit for years. In practice, the whole module could fall to Earth between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, also due to solar activity. Like the Tiangong-1 Chinese Space Station, the Soviet spacecraft could fall into the sea, as the oceans occupy a large part of our planet. In the “unlucky” case, however, that the vehicle heads towards some inhabited center, instead, the risks would be really noticeable, not so much for the weight, of only 500 kilos, but for the characteristics of the module, specially designed to resist the hostile Venusian atmosphere. In short, all that remains is to “pray” that the object is directed towards the ocean.

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