The cover image is representational.
Urgent reports of potential apocalypse-inducing asteroids headed towards Earth are not surprising anymore. But this time it’s not a celestial body that’s predicted to crash land on the planet, but a man-made object.
An unsuccessfully launched space probe by the now-defunct Soviet Union in 1972 is rapidly losing altitude and will crash on Earth between 2024 and 2027. The Kosmos 482, designed as a sister aircraft of the Venera 8, was headed for Venus but couldn’t leave the Earth’s orbit due to some technical errors in the design.
Marco Langbrock, a space situational awareness consultant, suggests that the object, which is being called 1972-023E, is in its final orbit around the planet and is set to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere very soon. Experts also believe that the lander is not alone as a significant portion of the original Venera bus is also expected to crash along with the Kosmos 482.
While most objects disintegrate while entering the Earth’s atmosphere, this 1,180 kg metal object is predicted to survive the re-entry completely intact as it was designed to survive and pass through Venus’ denser and more unforgiving atmosphere.
It is expected to land between 52 degrees North and 52 degrees South latitude, which covers the Southern areas of Europe and Asia, as well as the whole of Africa and Australia, and some parts of the Americas.
While the object is predicted to crash into the ocean, it could prove disastrous if it ends up crashing into a human-inhabited area. So, let’s just hope that doesn’t happen.
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