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MOSCOW, April 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Fragments of the Molniya-1T communication satellite will fall over southern areas of the Pacific Ocean early on Saturday morning, Russian Aerospace Defense Forces spokesman Col. Alexei Zolotukhin told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“According to the preliminary estimates of the Aerospace Defense Forces’ Main Space Reconnaissance Center, Molniya-1T fragments that do not burn in dense layers of the atmosphere may hit the Pacific waters at 3:17 a.m. Moscow time at 63 degrees South, 158 degrees East,” Zolotukhin said.
As of April 6, the satellite orbit had the following parameters: 2,378 kilometers in the apogee, 84 kilometers in the perigee and 62.5 degrees of the orbit inclination.
The U.S. space control service predicted the satellite fragments’ fall in approximately the same area. It said the fragments would fall over the Pacific at 1:26 a.m. Moscow time on April 7.
The Molniya-1T was launched from the Plesetsk spaceport with a Molniya rocket on August 16, 1996. The service life of such satellites is two years. They weigh 1.6 tonnes.