Satellite Slammed Into Southeast Asia

...but we don't know quite where
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 24, 2011 8:28 AM CDT
Undated artist rendering provided by EADS Astrium shows the scientific satellite Rosat.   (AP Photo/EADS Astrium)

(Newser) – The latest satellite en route to Earth has made its landing—trouble is, no one knows quite where it ended up. An American astrophysicist says Germany's ROSAT seems to have dropped over Southeast Asia after entering Earth's atmosphere late Saturday night. Though two major Chinese cities were in its projected path, “if it had come down over a populated area, there probably would be reports by now,” he notes. Debris may have fallen over the Indian Ocean, the Andaman Sea, or even Burma or China.

"The impact would be similar to, say, an airliner having dropped an engine,” says the scientist. “It would damage whatever it fell on, but it wouldn't have widespread consequences."

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