NASA’s Rossi X-ray probe makes a quiet exit

Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer
An artist’s conception shows the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer. (NASA Illustration)

A month after the breakup of China’s Tiangong-1 space lab, another spacecraft went to its fiery doom today with far less fanfare. Orbital assessments from the U.S. military’s Joint Space Operations Center indicate that NASA’s Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer made its atmospheric re-entry at roughly 7:45 a.m. PT (14:45 GMT), more than 22 years after its launch and six years after it was decommissioned.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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