A European Space Agency satellite hurtles toward Earth

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After nearly three decades of observing the planet in space, the out-of-control bus-sized satellite is expected to hit Earth's atmosphere Wednesday morning.

The European Space Agency's defunct 5,550-pound ERS-2 satellite is expected to break into pieces and disintegrate upon arrival, which is expected around 11 a.m. EST Wednesday. Latest Predictions.

A defunct European Space Agency satellite the size of a school bus crashed to Earth this week. ESA

Any remaining fragments were expected to fall into the ocean, according to ESA.

“The risks associated with satellite retransmissions are extremely low,” officials said.

The European Space Agency's defunct 5,550-pound ERS-2 satellite is expected to break into pieces and disintegrate upon arrival. ESA
ERS-2 was recently seen descending toward the atmosphere at a speed of six miles per day. HEO via ESA

The agency said it is “impossible” to know exactly when and where a free-falling satellite will enter the atmosphere because its re-entry is “natural” and not controlled by humans.

According to ESA, ERS-2 launched in 1995 as Europe's “most advanced Earth observation spacecraft ever built.”

It collected a wealth of valuable data on oceans, continents and ice sheets and monitored natural disasters in remote parts of the planet, officials said.

However, its mission ended in 2011 and it has been gradually de-orbited over the past 13 years in preparation for its return to Earth.

Images of a satellite heading towards the planet were captured Last week by HEO Robotics.

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