2,000 pound satellite crashes to Earth - New York News

2,000 pound satellite crashes to Earth

Posted: Updated:
By FOX NEWS -

Officials say they have confirmed a 2,000-pound European satellite that has been steadily sinking toward Earth after it ran out of fuel last month has re-entered the atmosphere Sunday, and say most of it likely incinerated.

In a status report posted on the European Space Agency's website, scientists said tracking stations last made contact with the GOCE, or Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer, at 5:42 p.m. GMT when it was 75 miles above Antarctica.

Spokesman Robert Meisner tells FoxNews.com the agency has confirmed the GOCE has fallen to Earth, but has not confirmed any other details.

The agency estimates on its website that about 25 percent of the spacecraft survived re-entry and has fallen into the ocean.

"By the time you read this, the spacecraft's amazing flight will, most likely, have come to an end," spokesman Daniel Scuka wrote in an update posted around 6:45 p.m. on the agency's website.

GOCE has been orbiting Earth since March 2009 at the lowest altitude of any research satellite. With a sleek, aerodynamic design meant to eliminate drag on the craft from the planet -- it's been called the "Ferrari of space" -- GOCE has mapped variations in Earth’s gravity, creating a model of the planet's "geoid."

The satellite is 17.4 feet long, according to the European Space Agency. A 2014 Chevrolet Suburban is 18.5 feet long, including the bumpers. The slim satellite is only 1/3 the weight of the truck, however.

As far as anyone knows, falling space debris has never injured anyone -- although one woman came dangerously close. Nor has significant property damage been reported.

For more on this check out Foxnews.com

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Congressman's ad includes Soviet medals

    Congressman's ad includes Soviet medals

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:38 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:38:06 GMT
    A New Jersey congressman's office is red-faced after a Facebook ad about veteran benefits that appeared to feature Russian military medals.
    A New Jersey congressman's office is red-faced over a Facebook ad about veteran benefits that featured Soviet military medals. Rep. Scott Garrett's spokeswoman said in an emailed statement that the office was sorry an initial review did not catch the use of the stock photo. Maggie Seidel says the ad was produced by an outside vendor and is no longer running. The ad asked people to like Garrett's page to learn what he's doing to support veterans' benefits.
  • Torture video leads to kidnapping convictions

    Torture video leads to kidnapping convictions

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:00:26 GMT
    A jury shown the videotaped torture of a kidnapping victim has convicted the two men who held a man captive for 17 hours at a Buffalo home because they thought he was a police informant. Authorities say the two men kidnapped a 25-year-old crack addict they accused of being a snitch. Video from Dawson's cellphone shows a gun being shoved into the victim's mouth and the victim being forced to lick his own blood off the boot of a captor.
    A jury shown the videotaped torture of a kidnapping victim has convicted the two men who held a man captive for 17 hours at a Buffalo home because they thought he was a police informant. Authorities say the two men kidnapped a 25-year-old crack addict they accused of being a snitch. Video from Dawson's cellphone shows a gun being shoved into the victim's mouth and the victim being forced to lick his own blood off the boot of a captor.
  • 17,000 red light camera tickets dismissed

    17,000 red light camera tickets dismissed

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:39 AM EDT2014-08-22 11:39:23 GMT
    A technical glitch in a red light camera operating system means that some 17,000 motorists in New Jersey will not have to pay a fine for running red lights. Computer problems between May 28 and June 30 resulted in motorists not receiving notices of violations. New Jersey law requires that if a ticket hasn't been served within 90 days, it must be dismissed.
    A technical glitch in a red light camera operating system means that some 17,000 motorists in New Jersey will not have to pay a fine for running red lights. Computer problems between May 28 and June 30 resulted in motorists not receiving notices of violations. New Jersey law requires that if a ticket hasn't been served within 90 days, it must be dismissed.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices