News of the WeekAstronomy

Gamma Ray Satellite Faces Premature End

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Science  21 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5452, pp. 403
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5452.403a

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NASA may soon deliberately crash a fully operational scientific satellite into the ocean. The reason? If it doesn't send its highly successful Compton Gamma Ray Observatory into a directed suicidal dive through Earth's atmosphere, the mammoth satellite could later plummet in an uncontrolled reentry, posing a potential risk to populated areas.

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