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ROSAT reentry expected this weekend
Posted: Sat, Oct 22, 2011, 3:52 PM ET (1952 GMT)
ROSAT illustration (DLR) A German astronomy satellite is on track to reenter the Earth's atmosphere some time this weekend, with over a ton of debris expected to reach the surface. ROSAT, launched in 1990, is now predicted to reenter at approximately 7:12 am EDT (1112 GMT) Sunday, with a margin of error of plus or minus 10 hours. About 1.6 tons of debris will survive reentry and will land somewhere between 53 degrees north and south latitude, according to models of the spacecraft's reentry. The German space agency DLR estimates that the odds of ROSAT debris striking anyone is 1 in 2,000, slightly higher than the 1-in-3,200 odds from a NASA satellite, UARS, that reentered last month. UARS reentered over the Pacific Ocean far from land, with no reports of any damage or injury caused by its debris.
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