Monday, October 10, 2011

German research satellite ROSAT has left its orbit and heading back towards Earth...and yes you guessed it "Scientists lost contact with ROSAT"

Scientists have warned that another satellite is set to crash land into Earth in the next few weeks.

The two-and-a-half ton German research satellite ROSAT has left its orbit and heading back towards Earth, with scientists saying pieces of it could hit Earth when it re-enters the atmosphere in the next few weeks.

Scientists lost contact with ROSAT, a German X-ray telescope built with British and American technology, in 1999. It is predicted to re-enter Earth's atmosphere at the end of this month or early November.

The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) said 30 "individual pieces weighing a total of 1.6 tons may reach the surface of the Earth."

But experts are telling people not to panic. Although it is theoretically possible that someone couldbe hurt by falling debris, the actual odds of someone getting hit are tiny.

"Until now in the more than 50-years of space history not a single person has been harmed" by pieces of falling satellites, said Professor Heiner Klinkrad, director of the European Space Agency's office that deals with space debris.

As right now, scientists are still unsure as the where about the satellite debris is due to land. Read More