Satellite may have crashed into Bay of Bengal

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 18:32

Berlin: A retired German satellite the size of a car re-entered the Earth`s atmosphere over the Bay of Bengal, but space officials said it was not clear if any of the predicted 30 debris hit the sea`s surface.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR), on its website, said the 2.7-tonne defunct research satellite returned to Earth on Sunday after languishing in a dead orbit for over a decade came down over the Bay of Bengal.

According to the space agency, the Roentgen Satellite (ROSAT) re-entered the atmosphere at 0150 GMT (6:20am India time) on Sunday above the Bay of Bengal in an area between India and Myanmar.

"Since Sunday morning we have had no reports as to any debris reaching the surface of the Earth," DLR spokesman Andreas Schuetz was quoted as saying.

Earlier, DLR officials had confirmed the satellite`s re-entry on Sunday but could not able to confirm the location.

While the 21-year-old satellite broke apart as it entered Earth`s atmosphere, DLR officials last week estimated that up to 30 pieces, weighing 1.9 tonnes, consisting some of heat-resistant mirrors and ceramic parts, could survive the fiery trip and reach the surface of the planet.

However, they said there was one-in-2,000 chance that any of the pieces would hit someone on Earth.


First Published: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 18:32
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