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A failed Soviet-era probe to Venus that never left Earth orbit is now predicted to crash to Earth sometime between 2023-2025.
The Kosmos 482 interplanetary station, which was unsuccessfully sent towards Venus in 1972 by the USSR, may crash land on Earth between 2023 and 2025, astronomer and cosmonautics historian Pavel Shubin told Sputnik. He couldn’t pinpoint the exact location of the future crash site, but noted that it would be between 52 degrees north and 52 degree south latitude.
The astronomer has studied the data on Kosmos 482 orbit as well as its deterioration and detected that it started to degrade faster due to it getting closer to Earth and experiencing increased gravitational pull.
He also expressed confidence that the station would successfully reach the surface since it was adapted for entering the much harsher atmosphere of Venus so is able to endure stress of 300g and 100 atmospheres. The astronomer is anxious to study the station after it lands in order to analyze how prolonged exposure to open space affected its materials.
It is not likely that this probe will land anywhere where it can be recovered, as most of the Earth is ocean. However, the scientist’s hopes are not unreasonable, as it is always worthwhile for future engineering designs to study how the environment of space effects materials over long periods of time.