Germany on alert for ISS debris, risk minimal

World Friday 08/March/2024 06:21 AM
By: DW
Germany on alert for ISS debris, risk minimal

Berlin: Germany is on the lookout for debris coming off the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday after reports that some of it could land in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate or other parts of the country.

The debris belongs to a battery pack which was detached from the ISS three years ago. The space junk weighs 2.6 tonnes (2600 kilograms), or the size of an SUV.

The space junk might enter the atmosphere above North America, according to the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The debris is expected to burn up as it approaches the Earth's surface.

There's a high probability that it will plunge into the ocean. The DLR said the debris poses a "unlikely" risk to Germany.   

The German Economic Affairs and Climate Ministry (BMWK) said the "object is being closely monitored" and that crisis measures are in place in case the debris lands in Germany.

The German Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance earlier sent out text messages on warning apps on Thursday, saying there is a low risk of debris landing in Germany. It told users, however, that they would receive new info on the app should the situation change.