Remember that one satellite that was going to fall back to Earth and possibly kill someone? No, not THAT one, THIS one. Well, we have a date for the reentry and it’s sooner than expected!!! As you may recall from the last post, the Roentgen satellite, or ROSAT (for short) originally was going to come back by the end of this month but it looks like it’s going down way faster than previously calculated.
According to the scientists in their ivory towers, the ROSAT will crash-land on October 23 around 8 AM (give or take). It is estimated that at least 30 pieces of the thing, including sharp mirror shards (which could or could
not yes slice someone up like a sausage!!!) will survive the reentry and hit the ground. Or, in the worst case a building or a person.
Paranoid? Hit the break to read more and get even more Paranoid!
Achtung: A satellite strapped to a 1.7-ton telescope will soon be descending in a flaming heap back to earth, possibly as soon as Friday. Because this out-of-control spacecraft, known as the Roentgen Satellite or ROSAT, was built with the finest German engineering, the “very heat resistant” optical device is expected to crash to the ground relatively unscathed.
The window of the ROSAT reentry, which the German Aerospace Center puts at Oct. 21 to 25 (though the dates could change slightly), should not be a time for finger-biting but for reflection about the probe’s accomplishments. Namely, ROSAT gave the universe a thorough X-ray scan shortly after its launch in 1990. This “all-sky” observation recorded 80,000 things out in the black that are spewing out Roentgens, a finding that among other things helped scientists understand the nature of nearby stars and supernovae. The satellite even caught the moon and comets emitting X-rays!
So why the uncertainly about the satellite’s reentry? The sun’s recent, mercurial outbursts have been heating and cooling the atmosphere, altering the drag that ROSAT experiences while traveling over the planet. Here’s the latest from the German space agency’s ROSAT page, a good source to check if you want to keep up with this device’s death plunge:
Currently, the re-entry date can only be calculated to within plus/minus three days. This time slot of uncertainty will be reduced as the date of re-entry approaches. However, even one day before re-entry, the estimate will only be accurate to within plus/minus five hours. All areas under the orbit of ROSAT, which extends to 53 degrees northern and southern latitude could be affected by its re-entry.
UPDATE 2:30 P.M.: The giant satellite is now expected to reenter the earth’s atmosphere around 8 a.m. EDT on Oct. 23, reports Spaceweather: “Uncertainties exceed 10 hours, which makes it impossible to say exactly where ROSAT will re-enter.”
And if this sounds like a Deja Vu to you, no, you are not tripping on weed, this is the second satellite falling back to Earth in two months! Coincidence? Could be. But then again, if think about all those fireballs and meteorites we’ve been seeing lately, also the NASA warning to their employees and the whole Elenin thing and all those prophecies pointing that the world may just end this week, if you put all that together you get a helluva conspiracy going on! Of course, there is no way to know for sure until the month ends so… Good luck with the rest of your week.
Visit wjla.com to read the original article and watch a
pixelated breathtaking picture of the universe in x-rays:
Falling ROSAT satellite to make reentry between Oct. 21 – 25
Or visit foxnews.com to read another article and view a live tracker of the satellite that I couldn’t embed here for you:
Track Germany’s Falling, 2.4-Ton Satellite in Real-Time
If you need me, I will be outside. Flipping out.
Special thanks to Paranoid reader Croman, Spence, Armando and Alex for the tip on this one!
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