ROSAT update: Falling German satellite enters Earth atmosphere

By on Oct 23, 2011 in Asia, Astronomy, North America, Science, South America, United States, World Comments

Updated: October 25, 2011 8:20 p.m.

Read ROSAT update: German satellite fell over Bay of Bengal

The German falling satellite, ROentgen SATellite (ROSAT), has entered the Earth’s atmosphere on Sunday, with no confirmation yet if pieces of debris have reached the Earth’s surface.

German satellite ROSAT, being tested
in the space simulation chamber

Image Credit:

According to the latest update by the German Aerospace Center on Sunday, October 23, 2011, ROSAT re-entered Earth between (3:45 CEST) and 2:15 UTC (4:15 CEST) that day.

The German satellite was launched on June 1, 1990 at the Cape Canaveral and mapped the universe in the X-ray range of the light spectrum until it was decommissioned in February 1999.

As of this writing, the whereabouts of the falling satellite is not yet known but the German space agency said earlier that it will not pass over Europe, Africa or Australia.

All areas under the orbit of ROSAT, which extends to 53 degrees northern and southern latitude, could be affected when it re-entered the Earth, the German space agency said on its official website.

The ROSAT is being predicted to break into 30 pieces weighing a total of 1.7 tons, and has a chance of 1-in-2,500 chance of hitting someone, a bit higher than the UARS that had 1-in-3,000 chance.

Meanwhile, FAA was said to have been with NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense to ensure that all US aircraft will receive the latest information about the German falling satellite.

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