An artist's rendition of the GOCE satellite shows the craft in its orbit around Earth. After four years of studying oceans and gravity fields, GOCE re-entered the atmosphere over the Southern Atlantic Ocean Sunday night.
Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 2:41 pm
More than a ton of advanced electronics, including an ion engine and sensors that help detect variations in gravity, crashed into Earth's atmosphere Sunday night, when the European GOCE satellite ended its four-year mission. Most of the 2,425-pound craft disintegrated when it re-entered the atmosphere over the South Atlantic Ocean; about 25 percent did not.
In this image made from video provided by NASA, astronaut Christopher Cassidy, foreground, holds a power wrench as he stows away a coolant pump on the International Space Station on Saturday. Thomas Marshburn is at left.