Russian satellite to hit Pacific Ocean

April 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

MOSCOW, April 6 (UPI) -- Russian space officials say a defunct 1.6-ton military satellite is expected to fall into the Pacific Ocean early Saturday.

The Molniya-1-89 satellite, currently orbiting 1,500 miles above the earth, is being monitored by the Space Defense Force, Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said.

"Fragments of the Molniya satellite that do not burn up in the upper atmosphere may reach the earth's surface on Saturday, April 7," he told RIA Novosti.

The satellite is expected to fall in the Pacific between New Zealand and Antarctica.

The Molniya-1-89 military communication satellite was launched in August 1996 from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia.

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