By Jeff Foust
WASHINGTON — A NASA Earth science satellite whose mission is ending this week will remain in orbit through the middle of the century, far longer than the limit set by orbital debris mitigation guidelines.
NASA announced earlier this month that it was shutting down the Earth Observing 1 (EO-1) spacecraft on March 30. NASA launched the spacecraft in November 2000 as part of its New Millennium technology demonstration program, originally for a one-year mission.
NASA, in cooperation with several other agencies, extended the life of EO-1 several times, with a final decision in the 2015 senior review of extended NASA Earth science missions to terminate the mission. That decision was made in part on the precession of the spacecraft’s orbit that made its data less useful. [Earth From Space: Classic NASA Photos]
Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.