Large ROSAT satellite fragments to hit earth

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Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
Large ROSAT satellite fragments to hit earth

ROSAT re-entry

"When the spacecraft re-enters the atmosphere at a speed of approximately 28,000 kilometres per hour (Note: that's 17398.39 Miles/hour (mph), the X-ray observatory will break up into fragments, some of which will burn up by the extreme heat. The latest studies reveal that it is possible that up to 30 individual pieces weighing a total of 1.7 tons may reach the surface of the Earth. The largest single fragment will probably be the telescope's mirror, which is very heat resistant and may weigh up to 1.7 tons. (note: that's 1.7 UK metric short tons, or 3803 pounds.)

The time and location of re-entry cannot be predicted precisely. At present, scientists expect the X-ray satellite, which completes an orbit around Earth  in about 90 minutes, to re-enter around between 22 and 23 October 2011 UTC. Currently, the re-entry date can only be calculated to within plus/minus one day. This time slot of uncertainty will be reduced as the date of re-entry approaches. However, even one day before re-entry, the estimate will only be accurate to within plus/minus five hours .All areas under the orbit of ROSAT, which extends to 53 degrees northern and southern latitude could be affected by its re-entry. The bulk of the debris will impact near the ground track of the satellite. However, isolated fragments could fall to Earth in a 80 kilometre wide path along the track."


Turn your smartphone into a ROSAT tracker


mainebob's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 13 2009
Posts: 97
Any prep work to be done?

Hi Safewrite,

I presume there is no prep work to be done...

If it hits my town...we're SOL... Bye Bye now...

Or am I missing something?  

-Bob O 

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
not much you can do


I'd keep an eye on for the next few days since they are tracking it. If you're number is up, it's up - but you can consider not traveling into areas it is eventually forecast to land on, if we get enough notice. It's a classic small likelyhood/high impact event.


plato1965's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 615
while you're gazing heavenwards..

 I just know I'm going to forget to watch but..

 " I saw two shooting stars last night
  I wished on them but they were only satellites
  It's wrong to wish on space hardware .. ".

 - Kirsty McColl.





maceves's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 23 2010
Posts: 281

 Oh dear, and I'm going to be out camping.  I suppose the odds are against  a space junk dump on my tent.

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