Wednesday, October 19, 2011

ROSAT - Will it fall on you?

Note:  ROSAT_Reentry Twitter updates are live in the right column.

ROSAT, a defunct German x-ray observatory, is scheduled to make an un-controlled reentry this week.  Current predictions are pointing to October 22 and 23 as the most probable days.

It's expected that up to 30 pieces could survive reentry.  The largest single fragment being the telescopes mirror, weighing 1.7 tons.

ROSAT's orbital inclination is 53 degrees, which means that, at the moment, the impact point for any surviving fragments could be anywhere on Earth between latitudes 53 degrees north and south.

Will it fall on you?  Not likely.  As you can see from the image above, ROSAT spends most of it's time over water.  There's about a 70% chance it will fall into an ocean.  And if it does fall on land there's not much chance you'll be under it.

DLR Portal - ROSAT re-entry:

Images: DLR