A world-first spacecraft reentry to Earth is approaching

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A car-sized spacecraft is falling down to Earth — but there’s a plan to catch it.

Aeolus, the first satellite to directly observe wind profiles from space, is almost out of fuel. Earth’s atmosphere and gravity are now dragging the 1360-kg craft down to our planet at increasing speed.

In the original plan, Aelous was expected to fall naturally back to Earth. But the European Space Agency (ESA) has proposed another idea: an assisted re-entry — the first of its kind.

Aeolus measurement geometry