The German research satellite Rosat, that was making its way back into Earth this weekend, has crashed somewhere in Southeast Asia on Sunday, scientists said.

Most of the fragments of the satellite were expected to burn up as they entered the atmosphere at speeds of up to 280 mph, but scientists believe that up to 30 fragments of the minivan sized satellite, weighing a total of 1.87 tons, could have crashed.

During the satellite’s re-entry into Earth, according to its projected path, it appeared to be headed for a crash in Southeast Asia, near two Chinese cities with a population of millions in Chongqing and Chengdu.

“But if it had come down over a populated area there probably would be reports by now,” astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center, in Cambridge Massachusetts, told the Associated Press.

Being that there were no immediate reports by now the satellite fragments that survived, have hit an unpopulated area believed to be somewhere in Southeast Asia, and could take days to find.

According to the German Aerospace Center, The satellite entered the atmosphere between 9:45 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. Saturday ET and would have taken 15 minutes or less to hit the ground.

The German research satellite, Rosat, short for Röntgensatellit, which derived from the German word, Röntgenstrahlen, which means X-ray, was launched in 1990 to research black holes and neutron stars, performing the very first sky survey for X-ray sources with an imaging telescope.

The satellite was expected be active for 18 months but its great scientific success kept it going for more than eight years after. ROSAT retired in 1999 when all communications were lost.