European Satellite Falling Back to Earth Next Week

By: PinPoint Forecast Team
By: PinPoint Forecast Team

The European satellite named "Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Explorer," also known as "GOCE," has run out of fuel and will start making its descent back to Earth.

The spacecraft weighs a good 2,000 pounds, and while fragments of the satellite will disintegrate over the next few days, it is not known exactly when and where the fragments will hit Earth's surface.

The European Space Agency says that they will have a better idea on where fragments could land once the satellite makes re-entry, which could likely occur by Monday.

About the GOCE:

The satellite was sent into space back in 2009 in order to map different variations in the Earth's gravity, as well as analyze patterns in the ocean's circulation.

While the satellite actually ran out of fuel back in October, the GOCE was expected to have hit empty much sooner. However, the spacecraft ending up consuming less fuel than anticipated.

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