Berlin: A derelict German research satellite crashed into the Earth somewhere in southeast Asia on Sunday, US space scientists said, but there is no indication quite where. The ROSAT research satellite would have mostly burned up on re-entry into the earth's atmosphere, but it was expected that as many as 30 fragments weighing a total of 1.87 tons could have crashed, the German Aerospace Centre said.
These would include all the satellite's heat-resistant components, including its 880-pound primary mirror.
According to scientists, the satellite appeared to have gone down over southeast Asia with two large Chinese cities, Chongqing and Chengdu, in the satellite's projected path during its re-entry time.
But the satellite appears to have missed populated areas for no sightings have emerged by now.
Calculations based on US military data indicate that satellite debris must have crashed somewhere east of Sri Lanka over the Indian Ocean, or over the Andaman Sea off the coast of Myanmar, or further inland in Myanmar or as far inland as China.
The satellite entered the atmosphere between 0145 GMT to 0215 GMT Sunday (9:45 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. Saturday EDT) and would have taken 15 minutes or less to hit the ground, the German Aerospace Centre said.