Satellite falls, out of fuel

Last updated 08:41, November 11 2013
END OF SERVICE: An artist's impression of the GOCE satellite in orbit.

END OF SERVICE: An artist's impression of the GOCE satellite in orbit.

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 on Sunday (local time) the crash was expected to occur between 1830 GMT on Sunday and 0030 GMT on Monday.

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 on 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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 - AP