Update from ESOC at 21:20 CET

RE-ENTRY FORECAST TIMES CORRECTED at 22:04 CET (1 hr later as expressed in CET – ED.)

Via the GOCE mission operation’s team and the ESOC Space Debris Office:

Contact was made nominally at 20:50 CET at Antarctica’s Troll station. The temperature of the central computer and battery are around 54ºC. Next visibility is expected again over Troll at 22:16 CET.

The new estimation for reentry of GOCE now predicts a time window between 23:30 and 01:30 CET.



  • Jehannus says:

    will it be visible and at wich time above west-europe.

  • Cale Lackey says:

    Where do you think the GOCE will impact? Are there any specific countries identified? Thank you.

  • daniela says:

    Feels so wierd does not it? Tomorrow morning there’s no more s/c and yet everything is almost nominal. Un quart d’heure avant sa mort, elle était encore envie. Good and harmless path for deorbit, too.

  • Alistair says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for your update. Looking forward to the next one. Seems that things have extended slightly from the initial estimates. Shame you can’t provide the data you have live like is done on an Arianne launch. They provide an awesome set of launch telemetry. I do appreciate it’s rather different this way around though! Very much enjoy the updates given and look forward to hearing the latest altitude and speed next time contact is made. Also looking forward to hearing from you when re-entry is confirmed. Cheers 🙂

    • Daniel says:

      Hi Alistair: Thanks! The big difference between an Ariane launch and satellite tracking is continuous contact with ground; launchers have it, most satellites (like GOCE) do not. Thus it’s simply not possible to provide continuous location updates. Cheers!

      • Alistair says:

        Thanks Daniel, I understand. Must be quite exciting in the ops centre right now. I’m sure there’s mixed feelings as the data has been excellent and the loss is sad but also an exciting event. Looks like a near zero chance of me seeing the fireball now but yesterday when predictions still included a small chance of it burning up near me I was prepared to get out into the desert and video it tonight if there was a chance. 🙂 Hope that someone gets to see it and manages a video as it will be an awesome sight for sure. Cheers

  • Nothing special but very interesting to follow.

  • Richard says:

    Excellent work to you Danial and your team.
    Keep up the updates, this is great.

    I do have a couple of questions :-
    regarding the shape of Goce (being aerodynamic), does this present problems with it’s re-entry ?
    Id imagine if it had aerodynamics of a brick, the prediction could be easier.

    At what point would you expect attitude control to be lost, when the cpu overheats or when Goce actually starts to break up ?
    How many G’s can Goce withstand before breakup ?

    Thanks again, and keep the updates flowing. great work

    • Daniel says:

      Hi Richard: Rather busy now, so I’ll just give a brief summary reply here (more info avail in our web pages and blog). (1) The sleek shape has indeed tended to keep GOCE in orbit longer than otherwise. (2) Will check and try to post an answer (3) Not many

      • Daniel says:

        Richard: Christoph Steiger just replied: By now the S/C is fully passively stabilised by the aerodynamic drag, so we expect it to be correctly oriented until the very end (irrespective of whether the attitude control system works or not).

  • Iulia says:

    Hello Daniel,

    We all thank you and your team for your work and efforts and for sure we are so much looking forward to receive your updates. Any potential landing over Italy/Rome? I just put a wish to harm nothing and nobody on it’s way back to Earth…

    Warmest regards and good luck!


  • Martin says:

    On the tracking map http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/GOCE/Track_GOCE the altitude of GOCE goes up and down. How is this possible? I thought it could only fall but not rise.
    Does anybody know why?


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