Truth Frequency Radio
Nov 08, 2013

satellite-earth-european-Space-Agency-Gravity-field-steady-state-Ocean-Circulation-Explorer-GOCE-mission-truth-frequency-radio-chris-geo-sheree-geo-alternative-media-news-informationBy Stuart Clark The Guardian

The European GOCE satellite is falling uncontrollably to Earth but no one need worry too much

A one-tonne satellite is falling uncontrollably towards the Earth. It is expected to hit sometime late this weekend or early next week. No one knows exactly when or where it will smash down but it is likely to fragment into 25-45 pieces en route.

Written in those terms it sounds like pretty scary stuff, and indeed the news is making headlines across the web. Many seem to have been triggered by a piece in the New York Times, titled Satellite Will Fall to Earth, But No One Is Sure Where.

Perhaps a more sensible headline would have been Satellite Will Fall to Earth, But No One Need Worry Too Much.
The spacecraft in question is the European Space Agency’s Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) mission. Since 2009, GOCE has been measuring the Earth’s gravitational field with exquisite sensitivity.

To do this it has maintained an extremely low orbit of about 280 kilometres. Now that the fuel is gone, there is no way for it to fight the gravitational field it has been mapping. Mission controllers knew that an uncontrollable fall would be the inevitable end of the mission. So, why would they take such a risk?

The answer is simple. It is because there are so many natural meteorites falling to Earth that this satellite presents almost no danger.

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