Mama Mia, I hope this is in no way a portent for what might happen to the Italian economy. I'd better check out my Cicero, see if he has any take on this one.
With an Italian-made satellite hours away from crashing to Earth, Italian officials said on Tuesday that it had narrowed the list of countries where the pieces could fall to 30 from an initial 39. The 3,100-pound satellite, which was deactivated last year, is expected to fall somewhere in a band straddling the equator that includes parts of Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and Malaysia. "We are now in a position to exclude some African countries from the initial list," a spokesman for Italy's civil protection department said.He said the BeppoSAX satellite would start its uncontrolled re-entry between 4:35 p.m. EDT on Tuesday and 1:17 a.m. EDT on Wednesday. On Monday, officials had said there was a high probability the satellite could fall into an ocean. They said it should explode into some 140 pieces with only 1,540 pounds expected to remain solid and potentially posing a threat.The BeppoSAX was launched in 1996 to monitor space radiation. It is owned by the Italian Space Agency and was built by Alenia Aeronautica, a unit of state-controlled defense group Finmeccanica.
Source: Reuters News