It's a bird! It's a plane! (No, it's a giant satellite heading toward Earth!) In September, we reported that the German Roentgen Satellite (ROSAT) was on the loose. The rogue piece of equipment is still charging toward Earth and is expected to land within the week.
The German Aerospace Center claims that pieces of ROSAT could crash into Earth anytime between Friday and Monday. As with most objects that quickly enter Earth's atmosphere, parts of the satellite are expected to burn off during its journey, while up to 30 fragments, totaling 1.87 tons, are expected to hit the ground.
Where will these chunks of ROSAT land? No one knows. Scientists claim the area of impact could be anywhere between 53 degrees north and 53 degrees south. (Well, isn't that specific?) Even though they can't give us any real answers regarding this impending threat, they assure us that the chances of someone being hit are 1 in 2000.
The ROSAT is just one of several satellites that have escaped the custody of their owners. NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) also went missing and ended up crashing into the Pacific Ocean last month. Do you think ROSAT will be that lucky? One can only hope.