Unnecessary excitement: Leave me alone with your space junk

A battery pack from the ISS will burn up in the Earth's atmosphere as planned.

Unnecessary excitement: Leave me alone with your space junk

A battery pack from the ISS will burn up in the Earth's atmosphere as planned. Probably completely and probably over the sea. That people notice something about it in Germany? Unlikely. And yet this story has had a strange career.

It started on Thursday with "Bild": "Danger tomorrow in several cities: battery rain from space is falling on Germany." The article is based on a communication from the “German Aerospace Center” (DLR) and the Federal Ministry of Economics. According to the newspaper, it says: "The object has a total size of 4x2x1.5 meters and a mass of 2,600 kilos." It sounds huge, but it probably burns up when it enters the atmosphere.

The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief jumped on it and sent a message via a warning app in the afternoon. Even in regions that are at less than very, very low risk. It contains the information: "A threat to Germany is currently considered statistically unlikely." In response to stern's request, the Federal Office said: "The intention by sending the message was to create transparent information about the space event and to provide information about the currently estimated trajectory. This danger information does not change the current assessment that there is a danger to However, Germany is currently viewed as statistically unlikely."

So in the unlikely event that the battery pack doesn't burn up completely and the even more unlikely case that parts fall over Germany instead of over the sea, everyone now knows. Very, very likely you won't even notice the battery pack burning up in Germany.

Nevertheless, the Federal Office's warning enhanced the non-news about space debris, so that it had a media career - right up to the ZDF news in the "Morgenmagazin". And yes: Stern also reported. However, “Bild” managed the most absurd twist in the story: “Rubbish could hit Cinderella’s castle today.” Because Moritzburg Castle in Saxony is located in two of three corridors in which space debris is very, very, very unlikely to hit Germany.

In this world full of disasters and bad news, please leave me alone with exaggerated warnings about space junk!

Why am I still writing this comment? I was briefly upset about the space junk nonsense in our morning conference. And then my bosses thought this text was a good idea. It's less likely that something like that will happen to me again than that space debris will hit me.

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