GOCE Goes Bye-Bye

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,551
    ESA’s GOCE mission comes to an end, disintegrating in while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

     ESA’s Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer—or GOCE—completed its fatal decent from space after running out of fuel and burning up in the atmosphere over Antarctica.  GOCE provided the most accurate map of the global ocean at rest which is being used to understand ocean circulation, sea level, ice dynamics and Earth’s interior.  GOCE also provided new insight into air density and wind speeds in the upper atmosphere.  It took the satellite about three weeks to meet its ultimate end and about 25% of the craft survived the heat and reached Earth.