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European satellite is falling from space

European satellite is falling from space

by KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill

Bio | Email | Follow: @kgwrodhill

kgw.com

Posted on November 9, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 11 at 2:47 PM

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. 

Click to read the entire article 

Courtesy:  Jim Todd, OMSI Director of Space Science Education

Meteorologist, Rod Hill

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