Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DLR's ROSAT Satellite Reentry - Updated

ROSAT re-entered Earth’s atmosphere over the Bay of Bengal

On 23 October 2011 at 01:50 UTC (03:50 CEST), the German research satellite ROSAT re entered the atmosphere over the Bay of Bengal; it is not known whether any parts of the satellite reached Earth’s surface. Determination of the time and location of re-entry was based on the evaluation of data provided by international partners, particularly the USA. Read more:
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Germany's space agency (DLR), is now predicting that it's ROSAT X-Ray observatory will make an uncontrolled reentry sometime between Friday, October 21 and Monday, October 24. Much of the X-ray satellite will burn up in the atmosphere, although 30 pieces are expected to survive reentry. The largest single fragment could weigh up to 1.7 tons. Aerospace engineers from Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) used the company's analysis and visualization software to create this video depicting:
• ROSAT in its current orbit
• The satellite's ground track
• Its burn-up in reentry
• Statistical debris break-up model
• Estimated size of debris region


Although it is too early to predict the time and location of the re-entry, DLR says that predictions of the time period will become more refined as the date of reentry draws nearer.
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DLR's ROSAT Satellite Reentry - Updated - YouTube