German satellite hurtles towards Earth: officials

Oct 12, 2011
This photo released by NASA in 1993 shows galaxies taken in X-ray light by ROSAT (Roentgen Satellite). A German satellite around the size of a car is speeding towards Earth, officials said Wednesday, due to re-enter the atmosphere later this month but with little idea where fragments could land.

A German satellite around the size of a car is speeding towards Earth, officials said Wednesday, due to re-enter the atmosphere later this month but with little idea where fragments could land.

The x-ray observatory, named ROSAT, is expected to return to Earth between October 20 and 25, travelling at a speed of around 28,000 kilometres (17,000 miles) per hour, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) said in a statement.

"The latest studies reveal that it is possible that up to 30 individual pieces weighing a total of 1.6 tonnes may reach the surface of the Earth," the DLR said in a statement on its website.

"The time and location of re-entry cannot be predicted precisely," added the agency, citing in for the uncertainty.

The satellite could re-enter the atmosphere three days before or after this range, the DLR said, stressing there was very little danger to humans.

Last month, a bus-sized US satellite that hurtled unpredictably toward Earth crossed over Africa and the northern Atlantic before plunging into the off California, said.

There were no sightings or reliable accounts of damage as the six-tonne Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) fell from the sky.

Explore further: SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA satellite plunges into Pacific off California

Sep 24, 2011

A bus-sized US satellite that hurtled unpredictably toward Earth crossed over Africa and the northern Atlantic before likely plunging into the Pacific Ocean off California, NASA said on Saturday.

NASA: Satellite fell in south Pacific, not Canada

Sep 27, 2011

That dead NASA satellite fell into what might be the ideal spot - part of the south Pacific Ocean about as far from large land masses as you can get, U.S. space officials said Tuesday.

NASA says satellite will hit Earth Sept 23 US time

Sep 21, 2011

The US space agency has narrowed down its prediction of when a defunct six-ton satellite will crash back to Earth, saying on Wednesday that it is expected to land on September 23, US time. ...

Satellite landed, exact site not yet known: NASA

Sep 24, 2011

A decommissioned NASA satellite, the biggest piece of US space junk to fall in 30 years, has crash-landed but the precise location is not yet known, the US space agency said early Saturday.

Recommended for you

SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

3 hours ago

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts ...

Why is Venus so horrible?

10 hours ago

Venus sucks. Seriously, it's the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you ...

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

13 hours ago

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

13 hours ago

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

Spinning up a dust devil on Mars

14 hours ago

Spinning up a dust devil in the thin air of Mars requires a stronger updraft than is needed to create a similar vortex on Earth, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

User comments : 0

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.