German Satellite Returns To Earth
October 24, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
BERLIN, Oct. 23 (UPI) — A defunct German satellite the size of car crashed to Earth Saturday night but trackers said it wasn’t known where it went down.
Space.com reported officials at the German Aerospace Center said the Roentgen Satellite re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere sometime between 9:45 p.m. EDT and 10:15 p.m. EDT but its exact location hadn’t been determined.
As many as 30 pieces of the X-ray telescope satellite were expected to be scattered along a 50-mile-wide path between Berlin and Samara, Russia.
The satellite’s mirrors, optics and instruments have heavy protection from overheating and were not expected to burn up upon re-entry, RIA Novosti said.
There was a 1-in-2,000 chance of someone on the ground being injured by the satellite’s debris.
ROSAT was put into orbit in 1990 and weighed a total of about 2.4 tons.