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Russian Rocket Entering Earth's Atmosphere Creates Light Show

Russian Rocket Comes Down Over Wyoming

By Associated Press posted: 04 January 2007 03:54 pm

ET PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AP) – A spent Russian booster rocket re-entered the atmosphere Thursday over Colorado and Wyoming, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said.

Cell Phone Photo of Entry of Russian Rocket
Cell Phone Photo of Russian Rocket

NORAD spokesman Sean Kelly said the agency was trying to confirm a report that a piece of the rocket may have hit the ground near Riverton, Wyo., at about 6 a.m. Kelly said military personnel had not yet reached the scene.

No damage was reported and the debris was not believed to be hazardous, NORAD said. Eyewitnesses reported seeing flaming objects in the sky at the time the rocket was re-entering, Kelly said.

NORAD identified the rocket as an SL-4 that had been used to launch a French space telescope in December, and Kelly said U.S. spacewatchers knew the rocket was coming down.

"Objects falling from space are almost an everyday occurrence,'' he said.