'Humanity Star' will plunge to Earth sooner than expected

The "Humanity Star" satellite is set to re-enter Earth's atmosphere earlier than expected.
By Tyler MacDonald | Mar 21, 2018
The "Humanity Star," a satellite launched by U.S. spaceflight startup Rocket Lab, is set to fall back to the Earth sooner than expected, according to Newsweek. As of now, the glittering globe is set to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere on Thursday at around 11 a.m. ET. This is just two months after its launch, when it was expected to last nine months.

It has been subject to a great deal of atmospheric drag due to its low surface area and low perigee elliptical orbit. Once it spirals close enough to Earth, it will disintegrate in the planet's atmosphere.

Many astronomers have frowned upon the entire spectacle, deeming it a PR stunt at best and a piece of light-polluting garbage at worst.

But Rocket Lab had big plans for the satellite.

"No matter where you are in the world, or what is happening in your life, everyone will be able to see the Humanity Star in the night sky," said Peter Beck, Rocket Lab founder and CEO. "For us to thrive and survive, we need to make big decisions in the context of humanity as a whole, not in the context of individuals, organizations or even nations. We must come together as a species to solve the really big issues like climate change and resource shortages."

 

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