German satellite crashes in Saudi: report

A German satellite which was put in orbit by a Russian rocket in 2008 has crashed in Saudi Arabia but there were no reports of any damage.

Newspapers said the 1.5-tonne satellite fell on Saudi territory at 04:36 am on Sunday and that debris was scattered over many areas in central and south Saudi Arabia.

Sabq newspaper quoted Saudi astronomer Mohammed Shawkat Awdi as saying most of the 6.5-metre satellite, which was launched by Russia’s Cosmos 3M rocket, burned in space before parts of it reached earth.

The paper quoted witnesses in Riyadh in central Saudi Arabia and the southern province of Jazan near the border with Yemen as saying they saw flashing objects at dawn while another man said he heard a loud explosion after the flash.

“The statements by these witnesses conform with expectations by the US Defence Department that he German satellite will fall to earth at that time,” Shawkat said.
 

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