German satellite debris hurtles towards Earth

Scientists do not know exactly where and when pieces of the research satellite will hit the Earth.

    The German satellite is larger than the NASA satellite which hit the Earth on September 23 [AFP/NASA]

    The debris of a German satellite the size of a minivan is expected to hit the Earth this weekend.

    The best estimate is that the Roentgen scientific research satellite will crash into the Earth some time between late Saturday and 12 GMT on Sunday, according to Andreas Schuetz, a spokesman for the German Aerospace Centre.

    German scientists still do not know exactly where the pieces of the satellite will hit the Earth. They say it will land between 53-degrees north and 53-degrees south, largely much of the planet outside of the poles.

    Parts of the satellite will burn up during re-entry but up to 30 fragments weighing 1.87 tonnes could crash at speeds of up to 280mph.

    This is much more than the debris of a NASA satellite which crashed into the Pacific Ocean in similar circumstances in September.

    Scientists were expected to provide an update late on Saturday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?