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German space junk to hit Earth this weekend

Space debris from the German satellite ROSAT is expected to hit Earth either Saturday or Sunday.
German space junkEnlarge
UARS (UPPER ATMOSPHERE RESEARCH SATELLITE) hit the Earth's atmosphere Sept. 24. ROSAT, the German satellite, is expected to hit Earth this weekend. (NASA/AFP/Getty Images)

Wear your hard hat this weekend-- German space junk is expected to hit the earth.

A German satellite the size of a car is expected to re-hit the Earth’s atmosphere, and officials say they have little clue where exactly it will hit, the Associated Press reports.

ROSAT, ((he ROentgen SATellite), could hit Oct. 22 or 23, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) said the probability of someone somewhere on Earth getting smacked by satellite debris is 1 in 2,000, the Washington Post reports.

Read more at GlobalPost: Nasa says defunct satellite could fall in U.S. after all

The Deutsch space debris follows the space junk that hit Earth on Sept. 24, which plunged into the southwest Pacific, merely causing a big splash, the Washington Post reports. However those odds of hitting someone were a bit lower, at 1 in 3,200 chance, Fox News reports. As far as we know, space debris has yet to hit a human, although there has been a close call.

The DLR expects ROSAT, a 2.4-ton X-ray space observatory, to break up as it travels through Earth’s atmosphere, with some large pieces making it through the intense heat of re-entry, Fox News reports. German aerospace officials said approximately 1.6 tons of satellite debris, which will consist of up to 30 large glass and ceramic fragments, could hit Earth’s surface, Fox News reports.

Read more at GlobalPost: Report says space junk may have reached "tipping point"

"The largest single fragment will probably be the telescope's mirror, which is very heat resistant," the DLR said, the AP reports.

Lucky for us, most of the Earth’s surface is covered with water and the debris is likely to touchdown there.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/german-space-junk-hit-earth-weekend