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ESA's Aeolus Mission Successfully Achieves Controlled Satellite Reentry

In Germany, the Aeolus mission control team has concluded a long week of complex operations to achieve the first assisted reentry of the satellite bearing the same name.

In the Main Control Room, skilled engineers and space debris experts collaborated to safely guide the European Space Agency's (ESA) Aeolus satellite back to Earth.

Throughout the process, critical maneuvers were executed to safely direct the wind-sensing satellite towards our planet. At around 80 km above Earth's surface, a significant portion of the satellite is expected to burn up during reentry, though some fragments may reach the Earth's surface.

Experts explained that the overall risk of satellite reentries is very low. In fact, the likelihood of an individual being hit by a space debris fragment is three times lower than the risk of being struck by a meteorite.

This achievement marks a significant milestone for ESA's efforts to ensure the safe return of active satellites not originally designed for controlled reentry.

Upon completion of the operation, the currently inactive Aeolus satellite will be handed over to the Space Debris Office for proper disposal.

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