A European gravity-mapping satellite is expected to fall out of space in the coming days. The satellite has run out of fuel and will lose its orbit.
Most of the 2,000-lb. spacecraft will disintegrate during re-entry, but smaller fragments, as large as 200 pounds each, could survive and crash into earth's surface.
At last report, the satellite had gone more than two weeks without fuel and was tracked at 105 miles above the surface of our planet.
During the satellite's mission, it mapped the globe's ocean currents and lumpy gravitational field in unprecedented detail. The spacecraft also produced the first high-resolution map of the boundary between Earth's crust and its mantle.
During descent, instruments may be able to transmit acceleration data from the Gradiometer, which may be of value for atmospheric density studies.
Courtesy: Jim Todd, OMSI Director of Space Science Education
Meteorologist, Rod Hill