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German Satellite Crashes into Northern Thailand

Germany’s Rosat satellite debris scatters over northern Thailand

Northern Thailand appears to be where debris from the Rosat research satellite has scattered – that’s according to a report just released by NASA. Rosat fell out of orbit yesterday (23 October), after orbiting outer space for 21 years.

NASA’s Spaceweather.com has issued a statement, which says the US Strategic Command has released an updated set of final orbital elements for Rosat.

“Using these latest figures, German satellite decay expert Harro Zimmer estimates that the massive X-ray observatory re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on 23 Oct at 01:56 UTC +/- 09. Best-fit coordinates (21.33°N, 100.32°E) suggest a re-entry over Northern Thailand,” said NASA.

The re-entry would have taken just 15 minutes, according to reports circulating on the web.

Rosat was a joint project run by Germany, with UK and US involvement. Weighing 2,400kg, it launched from Cape Canaveral on 1 June 1990.

Rosat carried a German-built imaging X-ray telescope (XRT) with three focal plane instruments: two German Position Sensitive Proportional Counters (PSPC) and the US-supplied High Resolution Imager.

Carmel Doyle

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