German satellite could hit Earth this weekend

German satellite, ROSAT, is the size of a minivan

WRITTEN BY: Janelle Vreeland
German satellite ROSAT
Image Source: NASAblueshift via Flickr
German satellite ROSAT

A retired German satellite has begun its descent to Earth and is expected to crash this weekend.

MarketWatch reports that the German satellite, known as ROSAT, is expected to hit Earth on Saturday or Sunday. Most of the German satellite is expected to burn upon re-entry, but there is a chance that a 1.5-ton heat-resistant mirror could survive the trip through Earth's atmosphere.

German officials are not sure where the satellite might hit. The AP reports that  countries between 53-degrees north and 53-degrees south could be affected.

The German satellite was originally launched in 1990 in order to study neuron stars, but scientists have not been able to communicate with it for a decade. It was retired in 1999.

The satellite will reportedly enter Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 17,400 mph.

Read more about the German satellite and its re-entry from the here and here.

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