German Satellite Enters Earth
October 23, 2011 by staff
The Roentgen Satellite (ROSAT) X-ray observatory, made his re-entry between 0145 GMT and 0215 GMT on Sunday, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), said in a statement.
“Currently there is no confirmation of whether the pieces of debris have come to the surface of the Earth,” the statement added.
According to estimates cited last week, up to 30 individual pieces with a total weight of 1.7 tonnes could reach the surface of the Earth.
However, Andreas Schuetz, spokesman for the DLR, said he had to “wait for the data in the coming days” to know when and where debris could fall.
He said that currently do not know how far it was from Earth.
Last week, officials said ROSAT DLR expected to return to Earth between 22 and 23, traveling at a speed of about 28,000 kilometers (17,000 miles) per hour.
Solar radiation heats the atmosphere, increasing atmospheric drag and makes it difficult to estimate the date of re-entry.
When the craft re-enters the atmosphere, the X-ray observatory will be broken into pieces, some of which are burned, he said.
“The single largest piece will probably be the mirror of the telescope, which is highly resistant to heat,” he said.
However, statistically speaking, there is very little danger to humans from space debris, experts said. The remains are almost certain to fall into the sea or on a piece of uninhabited land.
During his mission, ROSAT operate at distances of up to 585 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, but has lost height since its closure, and in June 2011 was about 327 miles above the earth.
A controlled study re-entry was not possible at the end of his mission in 1999 because the ship has a propulsion system on board, officials said.
ROSAT was launched in June 1990 to enable researchers to conduct a study of all-sky X-ray sources with an Imaging Telescope for the first time.
Last month, a satellite the size of a bus that plunged the U.S. unpredictable to Earth across North Africa and the Atlantic before plunging into the Pacific Ocean off California, NASA said.
There were no comments or reliable evidence of the damage that the six-ton ??satellite, superior Atmospheric Research (UARS) fell from the sky.
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