UPDATE: ESA: Satellite Causes No Damage After Re-entry

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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.

BERLIN (AP) UPDATE

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 high atmosphere 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.


-- The European Space Agency says that one of its research satellites that ran out of fuel will most likely crash to Earth into the ocean or polar regions.

The agency said Sunday the crash is expected to occur between 1830 GMT Sunday and 0030 GMT on Monday (1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. EST).

It says "with a very high probability, a re-entry over Europe can be excluded."

Spokeswoman Jocelyne Landeau said the satellite, GOCE, will mostly disintegrate as it comes down and "we will have only a few pieces which could be 90 kilograms at the most."

ESA said Friday that humans are 250,000 times more likely to win the lottery than to get hit by the debris.

GOCE was launched in 2009 to map the Earth's gravitational field.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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