German Satellite Set To Fall To Earth
October 19, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
BERLIN, Oct. 18 (UPI) — Another satellite is expected to plummet to Earth this weekend, though the timing and location cannot be precisely determined, European scientists said.
The decommissioned German ROSAT satellite, the size of a large car, is set to fall to Earth somewhere either Saturday and Sunday, Fox News reported Tuesday.
The satellite will break up as it hit hits the atmosphere but Germany’s DLR space agency says the odds of pieces hitting anyone are 1-in-2,000, a slightly higher risk than the 1-in-3,200 chance NASA gave when its UARS satellite fell late last month.
German aerospace officials said about 1.6 tons of debris, consisting of about 30 large glass and ceramic fragments, could reach the Earth’s surface.
“We don’t expect big parts to re-enter, except the mirror and the glass and ceramic parts,” Jan Woerner, head of the executive board of the DLR, told SPACE.com.
ROSAT was launched in June 1990 as a joint venture between Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom and was decommissioned in 1998.