When this article was first written, there was a satellite orbiting the Earth. By the time you read this article, said satellite may’ve fallen out of the sky. According to calculations done by NASA and revealed on August 27, 2020, the OGO-1 satellite will end its journey and exploration of space on Saturday, August 29, 2020, at right around 5:10 PM ETD (2110 GMT).
The good news is, this satellite will most likely avoid hitting either you or I this weekend. Per calculations done by NASA scientists, OGO-1 will enter our atmosphere over the South Pacific ocean. The entry point for the satellite is “approximately halfway” between Tahiti and the Cook Islands, over the ocean.
As it is with most satellites of this size, the satellite will break apart upon atmospheric re-entry. There’s virtually no possibility that this satellite will hit the water in any sort of significant way – everything’s going to pretty much burn to a crisp. As all good satellites do!
The NASA Office of Space Science Applications funded the launch of the mission with this satellite on September 5, 1964. When it falls from orbit, it’ll have been in space for almost exactly 56 years… just a few days short! The satellite was in operation from 1964 until it was put on standby on November 25, 1969, and NASA terminated all support one year later.
This satellite had many names in its tenure in space. You might also know this satellite via the names EOGO 1, S 49, OGO-A, and/or 00879 in official documentation over the past 56 years. NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1964-054A is its listing code with NASA – you can find said listing at NASA online right this minute.
ALSO NOTE: OGO 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 were launched in 1965, 66, 67, 68, and 69, respectively. The orbits of 2 and 3 lasted until 1981, 4 orbited until 1972, OGO 6 went until 1979, and the otherwise longest-lasting orbit of an OGO satellite was OGO 5, which went from 1968 until 2011!