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Mysterious fireball was re-entry of Soyuz rocket.

Berlin, Muharram 30, 1433, Dec 25, 2011, SPA -- The mysterious fireball observed above Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and France was the re-entry of the third stage of a Soyuz rocket that transported three astronauts to space, dpa quoted the Royal Observatory of Belgium as saying Sunday.

A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying the astronauts - Oleg Kononenko ofRussia, Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands and Don Pettit of the United States - to the International Space Station, lifted off on Wednesdayfrom Kazakhstan's Baikonour space centre.

On Saturday, a trail of bright light moving rapidly across the sky was observed by many people in Germany and was initially thought to be a meteorite, according to a German aerospace official.

He did not exclude the fact that it could also have been space debris - about 60-70 tons of space junk reach Earth each year.

Some witnesses said that at about 1630 GMT they saw three glowing dots with a long tail, which then split up into several parts.

According to Scheutz, many witnesses said it was a shining red light,while others claimed to have seen a white-hot streak.

--SPA 21:14 LOCAL TIME 18:14 GMT

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Publication:Saudi Press Agency (SPA)
Date:Dec 25, 2011
Words:206
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