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The Facts About Germany's Falling Satellite ROSAT (Infographic)

ROSAT, a dead space telescope that ceased operating in 1999, is expected to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere in late October, 2011.
ROSAT, a dead space telescope that ceased operating in 1999, is expected to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere in late October, 2011. (Image credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor)

The 2.4-ton X-ray space observatory ROSAT is expected to break up as it plunges through Earth's atmosphere in late October, but some large pieces will likely make it through the intense heat of re-entry. According to German aerospace officials, approximately 1.6 tons of satellite debris, consisting primarily of up to 30 large glass and ceramic fragments, could survive the journey through the atmosphere and reach the Earth's surface. The SPACE.com infographic above offers some key facts about the satellite's ultimate demise.

Karl Tate
Karl's association with SPACE.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. Starting in 2010, Karl has been TechMediaNetwork's infographics specialist across all editorial properties.  Before joining SPACE.com, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating  news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Karl on Google+.

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