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NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer satellite, shown here in an old artist's illustration, fell to Earth on April 30, 2018, burning up in the atmosphere. The satellite launched in 1995 and was decommissioned in 2012. On April 30, after more than 20 years in space, NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer ( RXTE ) satellite re-entered and burned up in Earth's atmosphere. Decommissioned in 2012, the instrument spent its lifetime probing the environments of black holes and neutron stars in X-ray wavelengths, revealing new insight into these dense gravitational objects. "Observing these X-ray phenomena with precise high-resolution timing was RXTE's specialty," Jean Swank, an astrophysicist emeritus ... Full story

16 May