Tags: italy | space | satellite

Italy Warns of 'Minimal' Risk of Satellite Debris

Sunday, 10 Nov 2013 09:52 AM

ROME — Italian officials warned there was a "minimal" risk that debris from a defunct European satellite re-entering the atmosphere could hit Italy late Sunday or early Monday.

"It is not yet possible to exclude the possibility, even minimal, that one or several fragments could fall on Italy in two windows of time," the Civil Protection agency said in a statement.

It said debris from the satellite "potentially" could hit between Sunday and Monday.

The regions at risk late Sunday were in northwestern Italy and the central Mediterranean island of Sardinia.

Those exposed early Sunday were in the southern part of the Italian peninsula and the island of Sicily.

A 440-pound fragment the mass of a car engine will likely survive the disintegration of the research satellite according to computer models, the European Space Agency said Friday.

That fiery chunk will then break up into smaller debris which will hit Earth, it said.

It was still unclear where the pieces would land.

Experts have said the statistical risk to humans was remote.

The Gravity Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE), a low-orbit research satellite launched in 2009 to monitor gravity variations and sea levels, ran out of fuel on Oct. 21 after performing for twice as long as originally predicted.

It will start to disintegrate when it descends into the mesosphere, at an altitude of around 50 miles.

The GOCE was built before the implementation of a 2008 international accord requiring research satellites re-entering the atmosphere at the end of their lifespan to burn up completely or have a controlled re-entry far from human habitation.

 

© AFP 2017

 
1Like our page
2Share
Europe
Italian officials warned there was a "minimal" risk that debris from a defunct European satellite re-entering the atmosphere could hit Italy late Sunday or early Monday.
italy,space,satellite
262
2013-52-10
Sunday, 10 Nov 2013 09:52 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved