Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Doomed German Satellite to Fall to Earth This Weekend
Space.com ^ | 10-21-2011 | Denise Chow

Posted on 10/21/2011 12:50:44 PM PDT by Red Badger

A defunct German satellite is expected to fall to Earth this weekend, with experts predicting that up to 30 big pieces of the junked spacecraft could hit the planet. But exactly when and where the satellite will fall remains a mystery.

The 2.7-ton Roentgen Satellite, or ROSAT, will likely plummet to Earth on Saturday or Sunday (Oct. 22 or 23), according to the latest update from the German Aerospace Center.

"Currently, the re-entry date can only be calculated to within plus/minus one day," agency officials said in a statement. "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."

ROSAT weighs about 5,348 pounds (2,426 kilograms) and launched into orbit in June 1990 as part of a joint mission by Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. In 1998, the satellite's star tracker failed, which caused its X-ray sensors to point directly at the sun. This permanently damaged the spacecraft, and ROSAT was officially decommissioned in February 1999. [Photos of Doomed ROSAT Satellite]

The falling German satellite's impending plunge through the atmosphere comes about a month after an old NASA climate satellite also fell uncontrolled to Earth, in what was a much publicized event. The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) splashed into the Pacific Ocean, well away from the North American coastline, on Sept. 24.

The ROSAT spacecraft is smaller than the UARS satellite, which was about the size of a school bus and weighed about 6 1/2 tons. Still, German space officials expect ROSAT to drop debris along a 50-mile (80-km) stretch of the Earth's surface.

The satellite's orbit reaches from the latitudes of 53 degrees north and south, which means ROSAT could fall anywhere in an area stretching from Canada to South America. While officials have stated that there is a 1-in-2,000 chance that a piece of ROSAT could strike someone somewhere on Earth, the odds of any debris landing in a densely populated area are remote.

Germany's X-ray ROSAT observatory is expected to break up as it falls to Earth, but some large pieces are expected to survive the intense heat of re-entry. Up to 30 pieces of debris, totaling 1.9 tons (1.7 metric tons), could reach the Earth's surface, German aerospace officials said. These fragments will likely be pieces of the satellite's heat resistant mirrors and ceramic parts.

Mission controllers are actively tracking the satellite as its orbit gradually decays, but officials will not be able to make more precise determinations of when and where the satellite will fall until a few hours before ROSAT impacts the Earth.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Germany; Technical
KEYWORDS: debris; germansatellite; germany; reentry; rosat; satellite; satellitejunk; spacejunk; xrayobservatory
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-87 next last

Heads up!............

1 posted on 10/21/2011 12:50:48 PM PDT by Red Badger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
steel helmets??? (or whatever the new age warriors wear)
2 posted on 10/21/2011 12:53:14 PM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda" and its allies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

It’s not “re-entry.” It’s entry.


3 posted on 10/21/2011 12:53:23 PM PDT by KingLudd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

ROSAT ROAST THIS WEEKEND!


4 posted on 10/21/2011 12:54:10 PM PDT by b4its2late ("Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

for later


5 posted on 10/21/2011 12:54:52 PM PDT by Doctor 2Brains (If the government were Paris Hilton, it could not score a free drink in a bar full of lonely sailors)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: elpadre

I are ready for satellite......

6 posted on 10/21/2011 12:55:56 PM PDT by Red Badger (Obama's number one economics advisor must be a Magic Eight Ball.................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger; JoeProBono; Slings and Arrows; a fool in paradise

Evidently, it is aimed to fall on Pearl Harbor!


7 posted on 10/21/2011 12:55:56 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Greece is the perfect target for landfall...


8 posted on 10/21/2011 12:58:06 PM PDT by ken5050 (Cain/Gingrich 2012!!! because sharing a couch with Pelosi is NOT the same as sharing a bed with her)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KingLudd

Technically, if the satellite was built here in the earth’s atmosphere it is “re-entry”. But that is nitpicking.

I like the title ... DOOMED !!!
It’s DOOMED !! As if the satellite cares.

It’s probably carrying some space-born virus that going to start the Zombie Apocalypse. Lock and Load.


9 posted on 10/21/2011 12:58:18 PM PDT by Nonsense Unlimited
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Zie famous Jerman precission ~ within ONE day!


10 posted on 10/21/2011 12:58:18 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revolting cat!
Evidently, it is aimed to fall on Pearl Harbor!

What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! - Bluto

11 posted on 10/21/2011 1:03:38 PM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

It’s all a real-life metaphor for what’s going to happen to the Euro’s own imminent fiery burn-up crash onto Earth’s planet-wide economic, political systems with even greater destructive force that what killed the dinosaurs. (Plot for new TV show)


12 posted on 10/21/2011 1:06:57 PM PDT by lbryce (BHO:Satan's Evil Twin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lbryce

In a world gone mad with greed and corruption, one object threatens all the Earth’s cities. Are they scheduled to end in a fiery apocalypse?........./End Movie Trailer Guy Voice.........


13 posted on 10/21/2011 1:10:08 PM PDT by Red Badger (Obama's number one economics advisor must be a Magic Eight Ball.................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

If you look up tomorrow night and see a glow getting bigger but not displaying a tail, better move to one side, a lot, and fast.


14 posted on 10/21/2011 1:11:47 PM PDT by going hot (Happiness is a momma deuce)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: going hot

What if it comes down during the day?............


15 posted on 10/21/2011 1:16:13 PM PDT by Red Badger (Obama's number one economics advisor must be a Magic Eight Ball.................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Yes, yes, it’s all coming back to me now. I remember those very exact words intoned in a mellifluously oozing bass (deeper than baritone) voice-over from some past decade. Thanks for jogging my memory.


16 posted on 10/21/2011 1:55:08 PM PDT by lbryce (BHO:Satan's Evil Twin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Please Mecca...oh please oh please oh please.


17 posted on 10/21/2011 1:57:59 PM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revolting cat!
Evidently, it is aimed to fall on Pearl Harbor!

I heard, Grover's Mill, New Jersey.

18 posted on 10/21/2011 1:59:23 PM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

If you can’t see it, you probably won’t feel it.LOL


19 posted on 10/21/2011 2:03:03 PM PDT by going hot (Happiness is a momma deuce)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

I hope it doesn’t hit anybody. But if it does I’m watching an ep of Dead Like Me in tribute to the fallen.


20 posted on 10/21/2011 2:04:34 PM PDT by discostu (How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

Oh, yes. Please,please, pretty please. With generous helpings of tabouleh and loads and loads of freshly made camel dung.


21 posted on 10/21/2011 2:17:48 PM PDT by lbryce (BHO:Satan's Evil Twin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

I hope it hits the EU headquarters...When no one is there, BTW.


22 posted on 10/21/2011 3:13:24 PM PDT by Amberdawn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Given my work schedule next week, could I please request a piece big enough to wound hit me? Nice and bloody, leave a good scar to impress the ladies, and get me on the morning shows for a few days.


23 posted on 10/21/2011 3:23:40 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revolting cat!

http://wimp.com/nasasatellite/


24 posted on 10/21/2011 5:15:27 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
ANOTHER satellite to crash land soon, and the odds of it hitting someone are even higher ,,,,,,,,,(continuation of FR thread on October 1/2011)
25 posted on 10/21/2011 5:51:17 PM PDT by Evil Slayer (Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tijeras_Slim

Wow..brilliant!
I need that too...

Mein Gott! Dass ist das Satelletin!!!!


26 posted on 10/21/2011 5:57:11 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie (Rick Perry 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Chicken Little was right after all.


27 posted on 10/21/2011 6:01:22 PM PDT by PapaNew
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
ROSAT live tracking feed
28 posted on 10/21/2011 6:06:50 PM PDT by Evil Slayer (Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows

That was beautiful.


29 posted on 10/21/2011 6:13:32 PM PDT by PapaNew
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

I hope anyone who gets hit will sue!

heh.

If they live.


30 posted on 10/21/2011 6:16:01 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ken5050

Greece? Mecca.


31 posted on 10/21/2011 6:16:47 PM PDT by Michael Barnes (Obamaa+ Downgrade)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Made by Volkswagen?


32 posted on 10/21/2011 6:17:04 PM PDT by AdamBomb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
ROSAT RE-ENTRY CALULATION POINT
33 posted on 10/21/2011 6:19:43 PM PDT by Evil Slayer (Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

Mecca! good idea.... but I’d settle for Michael Moore!


34 posted on 10/21/2011 6:20:00 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Evil Slayer

Sorry...... Calculation = Calulation


35 posted on 10/21/2011 6:22:02 PM PDT by Evil Slayer (Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Oh great, there goes all my weapons again.

Dang.


36 posted on 10/21/2011 6:34:11 PM PDT by davetex (All my weapons got melted by a NASA space pod!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
ROSAT - ORBIT TRACKING DATA
37 posted on 10/21/2011 6:35:45 PM PDT by Evil Slayer (Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
There has got to be an opportunity in this somewhere, maybe I could sell metal trashcan lids on EBay and call them Falling Satellite shields.
38 posted on 10/21/2011 6:39:29 PM PDT by txroadkill (Antlers up! The Claw must be feared! Back2Back American League Champions!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Evil Slayer

Hit your refresh key to get latest position.


39 posted on 10/21/2011 6:43:09 PM PDT by Evil Slayer (Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: PapaNew

Art. Pure art.


40 posted on 10/21/2011 6:51:22 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Hodar

Let him go, he’s on a roll.


41 posted on 10/21/2011 6:54:43 PM PDT by EEGator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: ken5050

Greece is the perfect target for landfall...
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Or landfill.


42 posted on 10/21/2011 7:30:06 PM PDT by loungitude (The truth hurts.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
It would be a tragedy if a piece landed on Soylent Green Girl.
43 posted on 10/21/2011 7:33:22 PM PDT by doug from upland (Just in case, it has been reserved: www.TheBitchIsBack2012.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Can this satellite possibly be saved? I would hate to see it crash to earth for no good reason. But if it does hit earth, could it possibly fall into on of the areas where OWS is camping out?


44 posted on 10/21/2011 8:20:31 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (Herman Cain 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Will it howl like a Stuka?


45 posted on 10/21/2011 8:22:14 PM PDT by Thrownatbirth (.....Iraq Invasion fan since '91.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

"Oh my God, they killed Kenny!"

46 posted on 10/21/2011 8:22:28 PM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Thrownatbirth

Or be playing “Ride of the Valkyries.”


47 posted on 10/21/2011 8:23:39 PM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

There’s one or two co-workers that could use a satellite drop-in.


48 posted on 10/21/2011 8:29:57 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Liberalism is a social disease.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: doug from upland

From the looks of the bling on her she’ll be one of the eaten.


49 posted on 10/21/2011 8:49:01 PM PDT by this_ol_patriot (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

50 posted on 10/21/2011 8:49:01 PM PDT by massmike (Massachusetts:Stopped hanging witches;started electing Kennedys.Coincidence?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-87 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson