ESA: Satellite causes no damage after re-entry

Nov 11, 2013
In his image, publicly provided by the European Space Agency ESA, research satellite GOCE flies above earth. The European Space Agency says its GOCE research satellite will crash to Earth on Sunday night Nov. 10, 2013, most likely over the ocean or polar regions. Spokeswoman Jocelyne Landeau said the satellite will mostly disintegrate as it comes down and "we will have only a few pieces which could be 90 kilograms at the most." The crash is expected to occur between 19:30 and 1:30 Central European Time from Sunday to Monday night. ESA said Friday that humans are 250,000 times more likely to win the lottery than to get hit by the debris that may survive the breakup. GOCE was launched in 2009 to map the Earth's gravitational field. It ran out of fuel last month, ending the mission. (AP Photo/European Space Agency,ESA)

The European Space Agency says one of its research satellites that had run out of fuel caused no known damage after re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.

ESA said the satellite re-entered the atmosphere at about 0000 GMT Monday on a descending orbit pass that extended across Siberia, the western Pacific Ocean, the eastern Indian Ocean and Antarctica.

ESA says "as expected, the satellite disintegrated in the and no damage to property has been reported.

The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer, or GOCE, was launched in 2009 to map the Earth's gravitational field.

ESA says its information is being used to understand ocean circulation, sea level, ice dynamics and the Earth's interior.

It's been gradually descending over the last three weeks after running out of fuel Oct. 21.

Explore further: Start of dwarf planet mission delayed after small mix-up

Related Stories

GOCE's second mission improving gravity map

Nov 16, 2012

(Phys.org)—ESA's GOCE gravity satellite has already delivered the most accurate gravity map of Earth, but its orbit is now being lowered in order to obtain even better results.

Recommended for you

Can sound help us detect 'earthquakes' on Venus?

Apr 23, 2015

Detecting an "earthquake" on Venus would seem to be an impossible task. The planet's surface is a hostile zone of crushing pressure and scorching temperatures—about 874 degrees F, hot enough to melt lead—that ...

Titan's atmosphere useful in study of hazy exoplanets

Apr 23, 2015

With more than a thousand confirmed planets outside of our solar system, astronomers are attempting to identify the atmospheres of these distant bodies to determine if they could possibly host life.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.