German Rosat satellite comes down over Bay of Bengal

A defunct German research satellite has fallen out of orbit over the Bay of Bengal, space agencies confirmed.The Roentgen Satellite (Rosat) descended in the early hours of Sunday morning but its whereabouts were unknown.

A defunct German research satellite has fallen out of orbit over the Bay of Bengal, space agencies confirmed.

The Roentgen Satellite (Rosat) descended in the early hours of Sunday morning but its whereabouts were unknown. On Tuesday the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) reported that with the help of other space agencies, including Nasa, it established where the satellite re-entered the atmosphere.

DLR Rosat satellite
Credit: DLR

"With the re-entry of Rosat, one of the most successful German scientific space missions has been brought to its ultimate conclusion," the chairman of the DLR's executive board, Johann-Dietrich Wörner, said in a statement on Tuesday. "The dedication of all those involved at DLR and our national and international partners was exemplary; they are all deserving of my sincere thank you."

The DLR does not know whether any parts of the satellite reached the surface of the Earth. A Nasa scientist had previously voiced concerns that two major Chinese cities were in the possible path of the satellite's descent.

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