September 25, 2013

Doomed GOCE Satellite Will Fall To Earth In October, ESA Says - Sept 24, 2013

The European GOCE satellite (17.2-foot - 5.3-meter) is facing a fiery doom next month, when it is expected to begin falling from space to end a successful mission to map Earth's gravity.

The spacecraft runs out of fuel in October, but exactly when and where it will fall to Earth isn't yet known.

Most of the satellite will burn up in the atmosphere, but a quarter of it reportedly will survive the fiery reentry. An estimated 40 to 50 fragments of the spacecraft, weighing a total of about 550 pounds (250 kilograms), are expected to scatter a trail of debris over the planet, ESA officials told AFP. livescience

 

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