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posted: 11/10/2013 8:09 PM

Satellite likely to hit Earth in unpopulated area

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS/European Space AgencyThe European Space Agency research satellite GOCE ran out of fuel while in orbit and is likely to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere today. Where and when -- and how much of it will hit the Earth's surface -- is largely guesswork.

      ASSOCIATED PRESS/European Space AgencyThe European Space Agency research satellite GOCE ran out of fuel while in orbit and is likely to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere today. Where and when -- and how much of it will hit the Earth's surface -- is largely guesswork.

 
Associated Press

BERLIN -- The European Space Agency says that one of its research satellites that ran out of fuel will most likely crash to Earth into the ocean or polar regions. The agency said Sunday the crash is expected to occur today between 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. CST. It says "with a very high probability, a re-entry over Europe can be excluded." Spokeswoman Jocelyne Landeau said the satellite, GOCE, will mostly disintegrate as it comes down and "we will have only a few pieces which could be 90 kilograms at the most." ESA said Friday that humans are 250,000 times more likely to win the lottery than to get hit by the debris. GOCE was launched in 2009 to map the Earth's gravitational field.

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