One of the satellites NASA sent during the Space Race made headlines again exactly 56 years later: This time by crashing into the Earth.
The Cold War between the USA and the USSR in the 1960s and the rivalry that manifested itself in every field led the efforts to become the first country to go to the Moon. This struggle was called the Space Race.
At that time, NASA carried out studies that enabled us to understand the Earth’s magnetic field with 6 satellite observatories it sent to orbit, and retired the satellites after a few years. OGO-1, one of these satellites, continued its journey in orbit.
Return after 56 years
The OGO-1 satellite made its fall to our planet 56 years after it was first launched. Launched by an Atlas-Agena B rocket from Cape Canaveral on September 4, 1964, the vehicle was shown as one of the most important trials carried out at that time.
Most of the OGO vehicles landed on our planet shortly after they were disabled. The fall of OGO-5 took place in 2011. OGO-1 had been traveling alone ever since.
The vehicle, which actively served from 1964 to 1971, was able to maintain its presence in orbit, as it could not be dropped by remote intervention as it is today. It was necessary to wait for the high-altitude particles to slow the vehicle sufficiently for it to decline.
The decline was observed on August 25
The Catalina Sky Review (CSS) team at the University of Arizona discovered that something big was about to hit Earth on August 25. The team thought that this object could also be an asteroid, as it was observing meteorite threats to our planet under normal conditions. Later, they decided it was OGO-1 that hit our planet.
According to NASA’s official announcement, OGO-1 returned to our planet on August 29. The object, which entered the atmosphere about 160 kilometers southeast of Tahiti, weighed approximately 113 kilograms and was a vehicle large enough to be seen entering the atmosphere. The OGO-1 has finally completed its long journey, although it has probably been broken into dozens of pieces on the ocean floor.