Nov. 10, 2013 8:10am Mike Opelka
The sky is falling! The Sky is falling! — sort of.
Sometime in the next 24 hour hours, a satellite the size of a Chevy Suburban and weighing more than a ton, is about to come crashing down to the Earth. The good news, sometime today we should have a pretty decent idea of where it will hit.
(Image source: ESA/D.Ducros)
GOCE (pronounced “GO-chay”), is the SUV-sized spacecraft launched and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2009. The sleek, 17-foot-long satellite has been circling the planet in a low orbit (just under 160 miles above the earth’s surface), mapping ocean currents, producing a new, high-resolution map of the earth’s crust and mantle, and, for the first time from space, measuring gravity in 3-D using a highly sensitive instrument called a “gradiometer.”
In 2011, GOCE actually completed its planned mission but still had fuel remaining. The ESA took the opportunity to continue gathering data from GOCE until October 21, when fuel was finally exhausted and the satellite began its descent.
The New York Times reports that GOCE’s mission manager Rune Floberhagen expects the re-entry soon. Floberhagen told the Times, ”a re-entry on Sunday, with a possibility for it slipping into early Monday.”
Here come the Floberhagen's riding in their Volkswagen went to get some Hagen Daz
Vhere is dat satellite Hilda? It just came down in the backyard, it took out three of the geese and stopped in the cabbage!