European Space Agency to attempt unprecedented manoeuvre despite craft not being designed for controlled re-entry

A defunct European satellite is poised to make an unprecedented return to Earth on Friday when mission controllers guide the spacecraft into a fiery dive over the Atlantic Ocean.

The Aeolus weather-monitoring satellite was not designed for a controlled re-entry at the end of its mission, but the European Space Agency (Esa) has decided to use what little fuel remains onboard to steer the probe to a watery grave.

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