Another Space Debris Shower Expected in October, More Likely to Hit Populated Areas

By @Len_IBTimes on

NASA's UARS (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite) has, as predicted, scattered into pieces and fallen somewhere unknown on Earth over the weekend, but the episode of space junk shower is not yet over.

Experts say another satellite is falling back to Earth, and it is even more likely than the UARS to crash in on anyone. This time, the debris would come from a 2.4 ton defunct space telescope. 

The Röntgensatellit, or ROSAT, has been going around space for 12 years. It was switched off in 1999 after its guidance system broke allegedly due to cyber attacks. It was never proven, however, that cycber crime was involved in its malfunction.

There was a one-in-3,200 possibilities that the UARS could hit someone on Earth. On the other hand, there was one-in-2,000 probability that ROSAT could hit someone.

Heiner Klinkrad, the head of the space debris office at the European Space Agency, said in an interview with UK's Telegraph that the space junk will consist of giant mirrors designed to protect the telescope's x-ray array.

"ROSAT has a large mirror structure that survives high re-entry temperatures," Klinkrad told the Telegraph.

ROSAT's German manufacturer DLR, through its website, informed the public of the potential effect of the telescope's fall.

"Up to 30 individual debris items with a total mass of up to 1.6 tonnes might reach the surface of the Earth. The X-ray optical system, with its mirrors and a mechanical support structure made of carbon-fibre reinforced composite - or at least a part of it - could be the heaviest single component to reach the ground," says DLR in its website.          

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