German satellite did not crash in Russia – official

The debris of a defunct German satellite that plummeted to Earth early on Sunday did not fall on Russian territory, spokesman for the Russian Space Forces Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said on Monday.


“As the experts from our Space Monitoring Center predicted, the fragments of the ROSAT satellite that did not burn up in the atmosphere fell to Earth at about 5:08 a.m. Moscow time [01:08] GMT on Sunday, but they did not hit Russia,” Zolotukhin said.


He added that the center monitored the changes in ROSAT’s path for the last 30 days and corrected the estimates of the satellite’s fall accordingly.


There have been no reports so far as to where the debris has fallen.


Calculations based on U.S. military data indicate that up to 30 fragments weighing a total of 1.87 metric tons may have crashed somewhere east of Sri Lanka over the Indian Ocean, or even as far inland as China.


The German space agency DLR earlier said the chances of ROSAT debris injuring anyone on the ground were approximately one in 2,000.


ROSAT was put into orbit in 1990 and retired in 1999 after performing an all-sky survey of X-ray sources in search for black holes and neutron stars.


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