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Bullseye October 22, 2011

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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ROSAT

UPDATE:  ROSAT JUST MISSED FRITZ

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The German ROSAT satellite fell back to Earth Saturday evening, U.S. time, NASA sources told ABC News. DLR, Germany’s scientific research agency, said the satellite re-entered the atmosphere between 9:45 and 10:15 p.m. ET. Just two hours prior Fritz was seen outside, eyes to the heavens, searching for the satellite as it made it’s pass directly over his house. Sadly not  only did a piece not strike him on the head, he didn’t even see it go by.

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For as long as I can remember I have always said (half jokingly) that I will become famous for being the first person killed by getting hit by a meteorite. The running joke is so old among family now that they just nod patronizingly and mutter “let’s hope so”. So joy of joys when I read of the soon-to-die Roentgen Satellite. This German craft was launched by NASA in 1990 to investigate the origin, spectral composition and energy distribution of x-ray radiation throughout the universe. It took a crapper in 1998 when it’s x-ray “eye” got stuck open and looked directly at the sun. It was abandoned soon thereafter.

So now she’s in the death throes of earth’s gravitational tug and is guestimated to fall to earth tonight or tomorrow. Now here’s the cool part. There’s an awesome space geek website that tracks all things circling the earth. It’s real time and shows path, altitude, times and calculates the best chance of seeing the object as it passes overhead. I plugged in my zip code and it calculated the future passes. As luck would have it I have two chances to die! It seems the satellite will pass almost directly over my house not once but twice before she crashes. With any luck it will be during one of those fly-bys! So as I keep my eyes to the heavens and await immortality remember, one man’s dreams are another’s folly. In my case both.

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