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German Satellite To Fall From Sky

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the t-shirt-to-the-1st-reader-with-a-piece dept.

Space 107

BBC News reports that a German satellite is soon to fall from sky. According to the article: "The Roentgen Satellite (Rosat) is due to come back to Earth at some stage over the weekend - possibly Sunday. Just as for NASA's UARS satellite, which plunged into the atmosphere in September, no one can say precisely when and where Rosat will come in. What makes the redundant German craft's return interesting is that much more debris this time is likely to survive all the way to the Earth's surface. Experts calculate that perhaps as much as 1.6 tonnes of wreckage - more than half the spacecraft's launch mass - could ride out the destructive forces of re-entry and hit the planet."

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107 comments

The sky is falling! (2)

felipekk (1007591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804668)

Finally all those people running around saying "The sky is falling" are going to be right!

Re:The sky is falling! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805152)

Isn't it obvious where it's going to fall? London!

Re:The sky is falling! (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805378)

Snicker...

Re:The sky is falling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37808610)

Tagged "revenge" because of this.

There's some fuel left in the retrorockets to make one last correction.

Now apologize for Dresden. Quick!

Re:The sky is falling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37808602)

By Toutatis! Something is gonna fall from the sky on our heads.

This means war! (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804672)

OK, one satellite falling down every once in a while might be chalked up to physics. This must be a directed attack!

Where is Bruce Willis when we need him?\

(Did I get that right?)

Re:This means war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804832)

war against the earth, about damn time.

What's the risk per unit area (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804678)

as a function of latitude?

Re:What's the risk per unit area (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804698)

50/50 per square meter - either it hits it, or it doesn't.

Re:What's the risk per unit area (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804810)

So half of the square meters will be hit by it?

Re:What's the risk per unit area (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804856)

Assuming the circle meters don't get hit first, yes.

Re:What's the risk per unit area (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804996)

speaking as a triangle, you must give squares AND circles AND triangles a 50/50 chance!

Re:What's the risk per unit area (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805884)

I'm tired of you people not paying equal respect to spaces with greater than two dimensions. If they could talk, small stellated dodecahedrons would demand equal representation in your flat world. Some can [youtube.com] , but they fail to make such complex statements.

Re:What's the risk per unit area (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805530)

50/50 per square meter - either it hits it, or it doesn't.

So what's that come to in feet?

Re:What's the risk per unit area (1)

Pence128 (1389345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806072)

Two, one on each leg.

Re:What's the risk per unit area (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805002)

Nice math problem.
I think the answer is c / sqrt(1 - (sin(latitude) / sin(53 degrees))^2) where c is the risk at the equator.
What do I win?

Re:What's the risk per unit area (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806028)

Nice math problem. I think the answer is c / sqrt(1 - (sin(latitude) / sin(53 degrees))^2) where c is the risk at the equator. What do I win?

Part of a satellite...

Wait... (1)

guybrush3pwood (1579937) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804694)

That's no satellite!

I thought they stopped doing that in 1945? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804696)

Or have I got that wrong?

It would be neat... (3, Funny)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804708)

(Now remember, I'm saying no loss of life here) if it fell into an American football stadium at halftime. Can you imagine the special that NFL Films would make out of that. Steve Sabol: "Ohhhhhhh, and the satellite falls incomplete on the thirty yard line!" I wonder if that would make SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays of the week? Or would that be the Not Top 10 Plays of the Week? Official box score- "Game cancelled due to severe satellite weather conditions. Attendance: 54,321, plus 1 hunk of metal and a Martian." Would the home team get a Delay of Game penalty? You know how sometimes kids can run the baseball bases before/after a game? They could have an impromptu Run Around the Crater. Have the mascots do a tug of war with it? So many opportunities.

Re:It would be neat... (4, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804736)

How about if it fell on some holy site that the 3 major religions are fighting over, and obliterated it completely, leaving nothing to fight over except a big smoking hole in the ground? "An act of God Allah | FSM".

Re:It would be neat... (2)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804756)

If it was FSM there would be sauce for all to be enjoyed. But you need to bring your own pasta.
On a more serious side, can you imagine the 14 trillion interpretations that would come with that disaster?

Re:It would be neat... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804886)

I forgot - the world ended Friday [businessinsider.com] .

"It's not a lie or a scam, it's religion!"

Re:It would be neat... (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804966)

Well, it ended because someone found out what it is for and why it is there. Therefore it was replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

Re:It would be neat... (1)

Slashdot Assistant (2336034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806188)

On a more serious side, can you imagine the 14 trillion interpretations that would come with that disaster?

Heh, very good point. I suspect most interpretations will be oddly supportive of the views of the person in question. Hardly surprising when what they're worshiping must simultaneously be Ultimate Santa and the Ultimate Cancer Fairy (and everything else in between). Small wonder it's difficult to interpret his actions.

Re:It would be neat... (2)

wisty (1335733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807062)

There's some theory on the intertubes about the "evaporative cooling" of religions - if something discredits a religion (i.e. the "imortal" founder dies), then the moderates start leaving, and only the real nutters remain, so the religion becomes even *more* extreme.

Re:It would be neat... (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804910)

Then they'd just fight over another hunk of dirt. Hell, we could all live atop an infinite plane of uniform density and there'd still be folks insisting that this patch of nothingness sacred because it has a p-brane shadow of Jesus. Or Mohamed. Or a Dirichlet function. They all look the same.

Re:It would be neat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805246)

P-brane... I see what you did there

Re:It would be neat... (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805558)

You buffoon. How could you forget the sweat stains of Elvis? It's a serious group of people. They make a pilgrimage to their own Mecca every year, Graceland.

Re:It would be neat... (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805096)

How about if it fell on some holy site that the 3 major religions are fighting over, and obliterated it completely, leaving nothing to fight over except a big smoking hole in the ground? "An act of God
  Allah | FSM".

Nice idea, but I'll have to pass on that as I'm in Jerusalem at the moment, hotel's a stone's throw from the Western Wall/Dome of rock/Church of the sepulchre.

If it can hold off until Tuesday I'll watch from a safe distance :)

Re:It would be neat... (2)

Slashdot Assistant (2336034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805980)

They'll just fight for control of their holy smoking crater. These people are deranged.

Re:It would be neat... (1)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807530)

Is it you, Mr. Westerwelle?

Re:It would be neat... (1)

feufeu (1109929) | more than 2 years ago | (#37808254)

You are aware that this is a german satellite, right ? I'd expect quite a lot of fuss being made about that fact by you know who...

Re:It would be neat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805308)

"Intentional grounding (offense). 10 yards."

Re:It would be neat... (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805976)

This whole thing seems so unavoidable. I'd think a couple hundred grams of well-placed high explosive could shred it up enough that it all breaks up in the atmosphere. Launch costs to LEO average around 10k per kg (give or take a factor of two), so it's not like that would be an absurd additional launch cost.

Potential for Damage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804720)

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Difficulty:
        Moderate

Directions
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        Cup
        Pipette
        Hydrogen peroxide
        1 tbsp. Meat tenderizer
        Spoon
        Washing powder
        Oxygen bleach

                A

                Fill the sink with cold water. Panties soaking in cold blood 10-15 minutes. Before removing her panties in cold water, rub the stain with your fingers to remove dirt as possible. Underwear Squeeze excess water to remove.
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                Put the panties on a flat surface up to the spot. Using hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain with a pipette. Weaken the spot as to allow hydrogen peroxide to fizz for two minutes. Rubbing from the back to loosen the dirt, please rinse the stain with cold water.
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Great...just when the geese left for the winter... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804722)

I way didn't want to trade ounces of geese crap for tons of space crap on my car.

Re:Great...just when the geese left for the winter (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804762)

I way didn't want to trade ounces of geese crap for tons of space crap on my car.

I tell you what. You can have your stupid fucking geese back. We'll take the satellite.

Re:Great...just when the geese left for the winter (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804922)

If we're talking about the Canadian space agency, those are the same things.

Re:Great...just when the geese left for the winter (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805028)

yeah? well, we have space canoes!

Re:Great...just when the geese left for the winter (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805490)

I tell you what. You can have your stupid fucking geese back. We'll take the satellite.

Ain't up to me - although I've met many a goose that was happy to provide me with their opinion (and bites), I've never met one that would listen to mine. Although I'm thinking they should have geese guiding the satellite to a safe splashdown; after all, the geese could routinely crap on my car right dead in the middle of the driver side windshield from an altitude of hundreds of feet without even looking.

And you laughed at my TinFoil Hat (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804726)

Actually we're developing one from super high tensile strength aluminum that should able to protect us from both satellite space radio waves AND falling space satellite debris!

Re:And you laughed at my TinFoil Hat (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804760)

Actually we're developing one from super high tensile strength aluminum that should able to protect us from both satellite space radio waves AND falling space satellite debris!

What about the government brain control parasites they put in the water supply as eggs?

Re:And you laughed at my TinFoil Hat (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805082)

The Eggricultural Dept stopped that. They privatized and outsourced that particular function yonks ago.

Re:And you laughed at my TinFoil Hat (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804770)

Cool. Unfortunately your spine will be a noodle after you get hit. Bonk!

Re:And you laughed at my TinFoil Hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805022)

More simplistic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LfLCsiDaTY [youtube.com]

Re:And you laughed at my TinFoil Hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805030)

I don't think it's the tensile strength you'll be needing...

Re:And you laughed at my TinFoil Hat (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805350)

For just $19.95 more you can have my matching accessorized *little* high-tensile strength hat to protect your other head and related bits. Think of the future children! Don't let the mind control rays or deliberate space debris flinging harm your plumbing or little swimmers!

Back of the envelope calculation (4, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804738)

Relevant comic: http://www.askdreldritch.com/comic687.html [askdreldritch.com] . More substantially, there's now a twitter feed with regular updates http://twitter.com/#!/ROSAT_Reentry [twitter.com] . The rate of descent is pretty fast. One thing to keep in mind is that although the chance of someone being hit by debris is around 1 in 3000 or so, the chance of a specific person being hit is much lower. It is extremely unlikely that two people will be hit so by a rough approximation, if someone is hit there is a 1 in 6 billion chance that it is you. So the chance is about 1/(3000 * 10^9)= 1 in 3 trillion. Even if one assumes a fairly high probability that when one person gets hit multiple people will get hit, the chance is still on the order of 1 in a trillion. That said, this sort of uncontrolled reentry is not ideal. But most satellites are either in higher orbits or are small enough such that everything will burn up when they reenter. Large satellites entering in an uncontrolled fashion is pretty rare.

Re:Back of the envelope calculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804916)

We can only hope the satellite hits whoever created that comic!

Re:Back of the envelope calculation (1)

shinglehouse (1196615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804920)

Thanks for posting the twitter feed for others. I was about to do so as well as it seems like the only way to stay up to date with this.

Wat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804928)

That comic was GARBAGE! I don't even know what the Kardashians are.

Re:Wat? (1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805906)

Google it, and put a kim before,hoo ,and pick only images. its good culture

Re:Wat? (1)

broggyr (924379) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807762)

Yes you do, or you would simply have said "Kardashians" instead of "the Kardashians" ^^

Re:Back of the envelope calculation (2)

jittles (1613415) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804940)

I RTFA and it said that the satellite may fall anywhere between the UK and the tip of south America. I was going to say your math was way off because there are a lot of people that could never be in the path of the falling satellite. Unfortunately, I was wrong about how much area this thing will cover. Of course there are still people that cannot possibly be hit, including anyone who is currently working in the Antarctic area. Possibly people in parts of the former USSR countries too, I don't know. I am too lazy to look at exactly how far north some of those areas are.

There are some places it CAN'T come down. (3, Interesting)

Technician (215283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805964)

Another news story totally lacking facts.. Why can't any news organization list the ground track of any of these? Knowing if it geosynchronous, geostationary, Polar, or other orbit can list the maximum latitudes this craft will reach. They make me do the research myself. The ground track is listed here;
http://www.heavens-above.com/orbit.aspx?satid=20638&lat=50.733&lng=7.100&loc=Bonn&alt=57&tz=CET [heavens-above.com]

Northern Siberia, parts of Alaska, Greenland and Antarctica can't be hit by this. Saying it can come down anywhere is FALSE.

Re:There are some places it CAN'T come down. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806418)

Northern Siberia, parts of Alaska, Greenland and Antarctica can't be hit by this. Saying it can come down anywhere is FALSE.

So, it can only land in places not composed primarily of snow and ice?

Re:There are some places it CAN'T come down. (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807188)

It can only land in places between 53 degrees north and south latitude, because it's in a 53 degree inclined orbit...so, yes, that leaves out mostly chilly places.

rj

Re:There are some places it CAN'T come down. (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807478)

But those areas are all very low population areas, so most of the world could potentially be hit by this. As the article mentions, it's most likely it will hit water anyway.

Re:Back of the envelope calculation (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807378)

It is extremely unlikely that two people will be hit

Which is why I plan on spending the next few days underneath your girlfriend.

Re:Back of the envelope calculation (2)

Peristaltic (650487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807932)

Considering her mass, you'd fare better with the satellite.

Solution! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804750)

I have a solution to yous problems. Heard me now.....che@p 1nsur@nce! Direct form manufacturer! No mid-man. Made entirely in US of A.

That's right....s@tellite insur@nce!

Just reply this mail-e!

This is n0t sp@m. Trust me, I honest....just ask my brother in Nigeria!

Small news (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804784)

German Satellite to Fall From Sky.

Don't they all?

Re:Small news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804826)

German Satellite to Fall From Sky.

Don't they all?

Well I hope Luna doesn't or it's going to make quite a splash.

Re:Small news (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805500)

Well I hope Luna doesn't or it's going to make quite a splash.

The moon's orbit is actually increasing [wikipedia.org] it's distance from Earth.

Re:Small news (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805552)

"The moon's orbit is actually increasing it's distance from Earth."

Hummm... maybe she's taking a step back for a run-up.

Re:Small news (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807212)

The moon's orbit is actually increasing [wikipedia.org] it's distance from Earth.

...and Bill O'Reilly probably thinks you can't explain that.

rj

Re:Small news (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807340)

and Bill O'Reilly probably thinks you can't explain that.

He'd be correct.

Re:Small news (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806162)

German Satellite to Fall From Sky.

Don't they all?

Well I hope Luna doesn't or it's going to make quite a splash.

Since when is the Moon German [ironsky.net] ?

Once zee rockets go up... (0)

bosef1 (208943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804842)

I don't care where they come down.
Zat's not my department,
says Werner von Braun.

More Data Please! (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804864)

It would have been nice to know the orbit's eccentricity, appoapsis and periapsis etc. I couldn't find the information, other than sample data that shows a rough 45 degree angle orbit (planetary projection) with 25 degree precession (again against our planet), so it's a game of pin the tail on the donkey for most people ...

Damn.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804880)

I had a lot of great times with Rosat back in the 90s. If you happen to be in the impact zone, grab me a souvenir.

Vorsprung durch Technik (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804962)

1.6 tones of wreckage to make it to the ground? That's quality German craftsmanship for ya, those crappy Yankee satellites just fall to bits! ;)

Re:Vorsprung durch Technik (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806038)

It's heatshielded to prevent temperature changes messing with the image, not to survive reentry.

Re:Vorsprung durch Technik (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806482)

1.6 tones of wreckage

That sounds horrible!

I hope it hits my house! (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805078)

I could sure use some sweet sweet settlement money!

Re:I hope it hits my house! (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805382)

good luck suing sovereign governments, they don't pay up

Re:I hope it hits my house! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805496)

As opposed to? Irktusk?

Re:I hope it hits my house! (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805890)

No need to sue, though;
Read up on the 1972 Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Liability_Convention [wikipedia.org]

The only problem is - it has never actually been tested as far as damages go. Esperance's 'littering' claim (of Skylab pieces falling on a bit of Australia) was cute but more as part of marketing than a serious claim.

Still, one could invoke that, rather than suing from the get-go.

Re:I hope it hits my house! (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807410)

Only governments can bring claims under that treaty. You'd have to convince your government to file a claim on your behalf (and they might still need to go to the "world court" over it).

Re:I hope it hits my house! (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807376)

If they have assets within the jurisdiction of the court they do.

Re:I hope it hits my house! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805450)

How much is your head worth, (that object that sits on your shoulders and occupies very little space?)

German Satellite To Fall From Sky (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805126)

Roentgen Satellite (Rosat) is due to return to earth at some point during the weekend - perhaps Sunday. Just as NASA UARS satellite, which crashed into the atmosphere in September, no one can say exactly when and where to get the Rosat What makes it unnecessary to return the German ship is interesting that residues much more at this time are more likely to survive until the earth's surface. www.funzpop.blogspot.com [blogspot.com]
  Experts estimate that perhaps up to 1.6 tons of debris - more than half the mass of the satellite launch - could drive the destructive forces to return to hit the planet. "

www.funzpop.blogspot.com [blogspot.com]

Satellites dropping due to events of October 2nd? (1)

approachingZero (1365381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805136)

A bright comet fell into the sun on October 2, 2011 in synch with a coronal mass ejection bursting out on the other side. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/comet-cme.html [nasa.gov] Just wondering. Solar wind and all.

Re:Satellites dropping due to events of October 2n (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805244)

A bright comet fell into the sun on October 2, 2011 in synch with a coronal mass ejection bursting out on the other side.

FUD:

While it looks to the casual observer that the comet triggered the ejection, the apparent relationship between an incoming comet and a CME is only a coincidence. At this stage of the solar cycle, the sun is producing many mass ejections -- in fact there were several earlier in the day

Re:Satellites dropping due to events of October 2n (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805256)

A bright comet fell into the sun on October 2, 2011 in synch with a coronal mass ejection bursting out on the other side.

FUD:

While it looks to the casual observer that the comet triggered the ejection, the apparent relationship between an incoming comet and a CME is only a coincidence. At this stage of the solar cycle, the sun is producing many mass ejections -- in fact there were several earlier in the day

Consider, it would take light over 4 seconds to cross from one side of the sun to the other (if it were crossing vacuum and the sun weren't in the way)... That tiny comet hitting one side couldn't possibly cause a CME to blow off the other side in less than a second.

Re:Satellites dropping due to events of October 2n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805876)

Consider, each frame in that video is 12 minutes, so not "less than a second" -- of course it's coincidence, but that's the wrong argument to prove it.

Re:Satellites dropping due to events of October 2n (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37808260)

Consider, it would take light over 4 seconds to cross from one side of the sun to the other (if it were crossing vacuum and the sun weren't in the way)... That tiny comet hitting one side couldn't possibly cause a CME to blow off the other side in less than a second.

From the scale of the image, then either the comet was traveling at faster than C or the video was sped up. The CME occurs a slight delay after where the comet would be had the Sun not been in the way, accounting for scale and video speed.

Iron Sky? (0)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805688)

That's no satellite, that's the Nazis returning [ironsky.net] !

Why this isn't a troll (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806974)

Troll, huh? Hardly. You see, O benighted moderator, it's a reference to the plot of a movie that's coming out next year that some people think is interesting in part because it's being released under a Creative Commons license. Of course, if you'd clicked the link before modding me down, you'd have known that.

WHA.....?? (1)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806086)

May God help them if that thing carried the Spice Channel!

I know what you're thinking... (1)

Pence128 (1389345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806120)

How much would that fetch on eBay?

the ultimate deorbiting machine (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806242)

"Experts calculate that perhaps as much as 1.6 tonnes of wreckage - more than half the spacecraft's launch mass - could ride out the destructive forces of re-entry and hit the planet."

Freaking German engineering. Do they do that just to show off? Thank god for that land war in winter.

It would be funny if it fell on central London (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37806812)

Well, not really.

In Seattle ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807246)

.. we are concerned that a chunk of this might hit the Alaskan Way Viaduct [seattlepi.com] .

German engineering at its finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37808550)

Even if a satellite falls out of the sky, more than half of the wreckage survives.

ROSAT was brought down by a 1998 cyber-attack (1)

mage7 (1984526) | more than 2 years ago | (#37808600)

According to this Business Week article [businessweek.com] , ROSAT's failure was brought about (accidentally or otherwise) by a cyber attack on NASA allegedly originating from Russia,

In 1998 a U.S.-German satellite known as ROSAT, used for peering into deep space, was rendered useless after it turned suddenly toward the sun. NASA investigators later determined that the accident was linked to a cyber-intrusion at the Goddard Space Flight Center in the Maryland suburbs of Washington. The interloper sent information to computers in Moscow, NASA documents show. U.S. investigators fear the data ended up in the hands of a Russian spy agency.

And i used to laugh at that satellite "hacking" scene in "Antitrust".

Why the name? (1)

lazlo (15906) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809080)

Does it worry anyone else that this satellite shares a name with a unit of ionizing radiation?

I mean, sure, probably the sat was named after WIlhelm just like the unit, but this is definitely a case where absorbing just one roentgen would almost certainly be fatal.

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