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German satellite re-enters Earth's atmosphere

(Shanghai Daily)

21:54, October 23, 2011

A German satellite the size of a car re-entered the Earth's atmosphere early today, officials said, adding they did not know yet if debris had hit the Earth.

The x-ray observatory, named ROSAT, made its re-entry between 0145 GMT and 0215 GMT today, the German Aerospace Centre said in a statement.

"There is currently no confirmation if pieces of debris have reached Earth's surface," the statement added.

According to estimates cited last week, as many as 30 individual pieces weighing a total of 1.7 tonnes could reach the surface of the Earth.

But Andreas Schuetz, spokesman for the DLR, said they would have to "wait for data in the next days" to know when and where the debris could fall.

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