. Space Industry and Business News .

German satellite re-enters Earth's atmosphere
by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) Oct 23, 2011

A German satellite the size of a car re-entered the Earth's atmosphere early Sunday, officials said, adding they did not know yet if any debris had hit the Earth.

The Roentgen Satellite (ROSAT), an x-ray observatory, made its re-entry between 0145 GMT and 0215 GMT on Sunday, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) said in a statement.

"There is currently no confirmation if pieces of debris have reached Earth's surface," the statement added.

According to estimates cited last week, as many as 30 individual pieces weighing a total of 1.7 tonnes could reach the surface of the Earth.

But Andreas Schuetz, spokesman for the DLR, said they would have to "wait for data in the next days" to know when and where the debris could fall.

He said they did not currently know how far it was from the Earth.

Last week, DLR officials said ROSAT was expected to return to Earth between October 22 and 23, travelling at a speed of around 28,000 kilometres (17,000 miles) per hour.

Solar radiation, which heats up the Earth's atmosphere, increases the atmospheric drag and makes it hard to estimate the date of re-entry.

As the spacecraft re-enters the atmosphere, the x-ray observatory would break up into pieces, some of which will burn up, they said.

"The largest single fragment will probably be the telescope's mirror, which is very heat resistant," it added.

However, statistically speaking, there is very little danger to humans from space junk, the experts have said. The debris will almost certainly fall in the sea or on an uninhabited piece of land.

During its mission, ROSAT operated at distances of up to 585 kilometres above Earth's surface, but it has lost altitude since its decommissioning, and in June 2011 it was about 327 kilometres above the ground.

A controlled re-entry was not possible at the end of its mission in 1999 because the spacecraft does not have a propulsion system on board, the officials said.

ROSAT was launched in June 1990 to allow researchers to perform an all-sky survey of X-ray sources with an imaging telescope for the first time.

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

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

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Dead German satellite to fall on earth
Beijing (XNA) Oct 19, 2011
An abandoned German satellite was expected to fall on Earth this week, but the exactly time and location remained unknown, according to media reports. The German space agency has offered a landfall time of the 2.4-ton satellite, between Oct. 21 and Oct. 25. According to the agency, approximately 1.6 tons debris, consisting mainly of glass and ceramic fragments, could survive the journey th ... read more

Space Waste Transporter: Going Where No Garbage Man has Gone Before

ROSAT re-entered atmosphere over Bay of Bengal

German satellite re-enters Earth's atmosphere

Proposal would 'recycle' satellite parts

Emirates seek French military satellite

First MEADS Battle Manager Begins Integration Testing in the United States

Elbit Establishes Israeli MOD Comms Equipment Supply Upgrade and Maintenance Project

Boeing FAB-T Demonstrates High-Data-Rate Communications with AEHF Satellite Test Terminal

Weather Favorable for NPP Launch

Vega arrives at French Guiana in preparation for its January 26 inaugural launch

SpaceX Completes Key Milestone to Fly Astronauts to International Space Station

ILS Proton Launches ViaSat-1 for ViaSat

One Soyuz launcher, two Galileo satellites, three successes for Europe

Russia to launch four Glonass satellites in November

Soyuz places Galileo satellites in orbit - mission control

GPS shoes for Alzheimer's patients to hit US

US House targets EU airlines emissions rule

Boeing Dreamliner to make first commercial flight

EU rebukes US Congress over airline emissions rules

China's aviation sector sees slower growth: report

NIST measures key property of potential spintronic material

Superlattice Cameras Add More 'Color' to Night Vision

A new scheme for photonic quantum computing

Point defects in super-chilled diamonds may offer stable candidates for quantum computing bits

Lockheed Martin Begins GeoEye-2 Satellite Integration

Better use of Global Geospatial Information for Solving Development Challenges

NASA postpones climate satellite launch to Oct 28

NASA Readies New Type of Earth-Observing Satellite for Launch

Fresh oil pollution reported in Nigerian region

'Historic' deal to halt hazardous waste export to south

Home washing machines: Source of potentially harmful ocean 'microplastic' pollution

Pollutants linked to a 450 percent increase in risk of birth defects


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement