P2_1 De-orbiting Envisat

Katie Raymer, Thomas Morris, Oliver Youle, Benjamin Jordan


After losing contact with ESA’s Envisat last year, the satellite has become a major addition to the ever increasing amount of space debris orbiting our planet. Due to its size and current orbit altitude, the risk of collision is very high. This paper examines how much fuel would be necessary to de-orbit Envisat to an orbit altitude of approximately 700km, where the time it would take for it to return to Earth would be 25 years. It was found that 143kg of fuel is needed. Whilst this amount is feasible, difficulties arise when considering the cost and complexity.  

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