Failed 1970s Venus probe could crash to Earth this year

By Leonard David
February 26, 2019, 1:08:09 PM EST


Here's another warning about incoming space hardware — but this saga has an interplanetary connection.

First, we have to peel back space history to the early 1970s, just after the height of the Cold War space-race between the Soviet Union and the United States.

venus probe

A failed Soviet Venus probe similar to that of Venera 8 seen here will slam into Earth's atmosphere some time in 2019. (Image: © Alamy)

The Soviet Union launched the Cosmos 482 Venus probe on March 31, 1972. But the spacecraft messed up its rocket-powered escape to that cloud-veiled world and got trapped in Earth orbit.

A big chunk of that failed craft remains in orbit today as space junk— but it's due to come down soon, perhaps as early as this year, experts said.

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