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Falling Satellite: German Falling Satellite Lands

Germany Falling Satellite
Undated artist rendering provided by EADS Astrium shows the scientific satellite ROSAT. Andreas Schuetz, a spokesman for the German Aerospace Center, said Saturday Oct. 22, 2011 the best estimate is still that the ROSAT scientific research satellite will impact sometime between late Saturday and Sunday 1200 GMT. (AP Photo/EADS Astrium)
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Undated artist rendering provided by EADS Astrium shows the scientific satellite ROSAT. Andreas Schuetz, a spokesman for the German Aerospace Center, said Saturday Oct. 22, 2011 the best estimate is still that the ROSAT scientific research satellite will impact sometime between late Saturday and Sunday 1200 GMT. (AP Photo/EADS Astrium)

A German satellite returned to Earth this weekend but its whereabouts are currently unknown at this time.

Scientists are scrambling to find out how and where the defunct satellite made its final resting place after it started its descent back to Earth this past week.

According to reports, the satellite entered the atmosphere between 9:45 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Saturday EDT and would have taken only around 10 minutes to hit the ground.

Scientists predicted that the satellite could have been over Asia at the time of its re-entry.

Earlier this week, scientists noted that most parts of the over 2-ton satellite, ROSAT, were expected to burn during re-entry into the atmosphere but up to 30 pieces were said to have possibly made it through and crashed into Earth.

According to the Associated Press, ROSAT satellite was first launched in 1990 and retired in 1999 after being used for research on black holes and neutron stars and performing the first all-sky survey of X-ray sources with an imaging telescope.

This past September, NASA’s satellite, Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), also returned to Earth.

Saturday, September 24, the 6.5-ton UARS landed in the Pacific ocean, just west of the United States.

According to NASA, The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California determined UARS entered the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean (at 14.1 degrees south latitude and 189.8 degrees east longitude) over a remote ocean area in the Southern Hemisphere—Luckily, the location was reportedly far from land, which wasn’t ruled out as a possibility last week as scientists tried to predict it’s landing location.

Read NASA’s official UARS landing report.

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