Russian satellite breaks up over perplexed Mexicans

February 12, 2010

A loud explosion and ball of fire that people in central Mexico reported seeing in the sky was actually a Russian satellite plunging back to earth, experts said Thursday.

"We think it was the space wreckage of a Russian satellite that was catalogued by the Department of Defense of the and which we knew could pass over Mexican territory," said Fernando de la Peno, an engineer who is also a chief proponent of establishing a Mexican space agency.

Reports of a large reached Mexican media and police on Wednesday from the Hidalgo and Puebla states.

Many said they felt the ground shake with the blast and some reported seeing a huge crater on the ground blown out by the fiery object. But nothing was found after a through search of the area on Thursday.

De la Pena said the space debris was likely the Cosmos 2421 reconnaissance satellite launched by the Russian Navy in June 2006 that malfunctioned and broke apart into 15 pieces two years later.

Explore further: Russian Space Center Loses Control Of Monitor-E Satellite

Related Stories

Russian Rocket To Orbit Arab Satellite February 28

February 14, 2006

The launch of the Proton-M Russian carrier rocket with the Arab communications satellite ArabSat 4A has been scheduled for February 28 at 8:10 p.m. GMT at the Baikonur Space Center, the Russian Federal Space Agency said Monday. ...

Report: Russian comm satellite fails

March 29, 2006

Failure of the Express AM11 communications satellite reportedly knocked out broadcasts to Russia's Far East region early Wednesday.

Russian Satellite Failure Caused By Space Garbage

April 19, 2006

The cause of the March 29 failure of the Russian Ekspress AM11 communications satellite has been confirmed as a collision with space trash, a Russian official told the state Novosti new agency Monday.

Rocket's re-entry lights up two states

January 4, 2007

A Russian rocket that broke up re-entering Earth's atmosphere over the United States had ferried a French telescope into orbit, U.S. military officials said.

Recommended for you

Ceres image: The lonely mountain

August 25, 2015

NASA's Dawn spacecraft spotted this tall, conical mountain on Ceres from a distance of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers).

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Dawn spacecraft sends sharper scenes from Ceres

August 25, 2015

The closest-yet views of Ceres, delivered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, show the small world's features in unprecedented detail, including Ceres' tall, conical mountain; crater formation features and narrow, braided fractures.

6 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

otto1923
not rated yet Feb 12, 2010
woo hoo! Free plutonium for everyone! Grab your buckets and shovels-
dallas27
Feb 12, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
yyz
not rated yet Feb 12, 2010
Whats up (or down) with Russian satellites and missiles[Bulava] lately?
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Feb 12, 2010
Quite a stir, indeed- and the comic possibilities multiply the longer you think about headline. If there is a crater, though, it needs to be located quickly, just to confirm level of health risk, if nothing else.
xyz- check out www.enterprisemission.com for all the latest on that very question- a highly entertaining read, and, as conspiracy theory goes- this stuff is off the charts!
yyz
not rated yet Feb 13, 2010
I see Richard Hoagland is still harping about HAARP and the "Norway Spiral". A classic crank. Sites like his have a 'National Enquirer-does-science' look to them.
lewando
not rated yet Feb 13, 2010
Agree--great headline. I wonder why all the perplexed Mexicans were gathered in one place to begin with. Maybe regular Mexicans had a head's up and had sought shelter.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.