GOCE, The Earth Monitoring Satellite De-Orbiting Soon


Gravity Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE), an Earth monitoring satellite was propelled to space in March 2009, since then it has been circulating the orbit but very soon, it will run out of fuel and ultimately crash. As maintained by the space researchers, the crash will not result in any risk for humanity.

Nearly 50 chunks of mass 250 kgs are estimated to hit the planet earth. Land or ocean, target of the fragments is still not known said the team behind spacecraft. Precision would depend on the proximity of the reentry point.

Spacecraft operations manager Christoph Steiger revealed that pressure in the orbiter’s tank will touch zero around 26 of this month but workings of the engine would have stopped much before that.

No sooner, the satellite reaches its terminus it will lose its altitude, will become unstable and gradually de-orbit.

As per Steiger’s calculations, 5.3-metre-long (17.2-foot) spacecraft will break up at an altitude of about 80 kilometres (50 miles)

Although there have not been any major casualties from space debris reentering but these space junk are causing problems by de-orbiting and affecting the functioning of our vital space services. Instead of relying on the satellites being reentering the orbit, scientists could make use of techniques like harpoons, nets and suicide robots.

Source: Phys.org

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