German satellite ROSAT crashes in Southeast Asia
Berlin, Oct 24 (ANI): The defunct German research satellite named ROSAT has crashed into the Earth somewhere in Southeast Asia on Sunday, but the exact location is not known so far, a US scientist has said.
Most parts of the car-sized ROSAT research satellite were expected to burn up as they hit the atmosphere at speeds up to 280mph, but up to 30 fragments weighing a total of 1.87 tons, could have crashed, The Telegraph quoted the German Aerospace Center, as saying.
Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said that the satellite appears to have gone down over Southeast Asia. He said two Chinese cities with millions of inhabitants each, Chongqing and Chengdu, had been in the satellite's projected path during its re-entry time.
"But if it had come down over a populated area there probably would be reports by now," the astrophysicist, who tracks man-made space objects, said.
Calculations based on US military data indicate that satellite debris must have crashed somewhere east of Sri Lanka over the Indian Ocean, or over the Andaman Sea off the coast of Burma, or further inland in Burma or as far inland as China, he added.
Meanwhile, the German Aerospace Centre has said that the satellite entered the atmosphere between 0245 BST to 0315 BST and would have taken 15 minutes or less to hit the ground. However, the centre said the satellite was not expected to land in Europe, Africa or Australia.
The satellite used to circle the planet in about 90 minutes, and it may have travelled several thousand miles during its re-entry, rendering exact predictions of where it crashed difficult, the paper said. (ANI)
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