The 2,000-pound Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer, a European Space Agency satellite known shorthand as GOCE, is currently re-entering Earth’s atmosphere and will land Sunday or Monday,
The exact location of the satellite’s fragments landing is not known.
On November 4, ESA reported that the satellite was orbiting the Earth at 119 miles and the rate of descent would increase significantly in coming days.
The five-meter long GOCE was a cumulative effort involving 45 companies from some 13 European nations. When it strikes Earth, that will officially end its mission to map variations in the Earth’s gravity in 3D, provide ocean circulation patterns and make other measurements.
The satellite will enter at high speed, therefore causing a disintegration with some pieces calculated to weigh around 200 pounds, although most fragments will burn up into dust, so the chances of fragments hurting a human being are almost unexistant.
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