Moscow: A defunct Russian military communication satellite is expected to fall Saturday morning in the Pacific Ocean, Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel 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 said.

Launched in August, 1996 from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia, the satellite — Molniya-1-89 — is expected to fall in the Pacific at 63°S 158°E, he added.

The 1.6-tonne satellite is currently at 2,378 km above earth’s surface and is continually monitored by Space Defence Force specialists.

Molniya-1T series satellites were replaced by the Meridian-series in 2006.

Source: IANS