Tag Archives: goce

GOCE update for 18:46 CET

Sent in by ESA’s Christoph Steiger at ESOC. GOCE is now below 130 km altitude. Spacecraft still in pretty good shape when last seen around 18:30 CET (17:30 UTC) at ESA’s Kiruna ground station in northern Sweden. Our orbit predictions are holding up extremely well; we still have no problems finding GOCE . Attitude control keeps working perfectly. Temperatures of battery and central computer (both located at the front of the spacecraft) now at around 45 degC. Next contact with GOCE is expected at Kiruna for around 20:00 CET (19:00 UTC).

Spacecraft doing great: GOCE at 133 km

Update from GOCE Operations Manager Christoph Steiger at ESOC Less than 10 hours before re-entry, we have just had another ground contact with GOCE at 15:37 CET using KSAT’s Svalbard station. The spacecraft is now at an altitude of just 133km, with the decay rate around 1.5 km per hour (and increasing quickly). The average drag level is well over 200 mN (milliNewton). The spacecraft is still doing great, with good attitude control. The Gradiometer has been switched off by us, as the accelerometers were saturated at these high drag levels. The scientific GPS receivers of GOCE keep working very well. Temperatures close to the front of the spacecraft keep increasing steadily: the central computer...

GOCE re-entry forecast from ESA’s Space Debris Of...

Update from Heiner Klinkrad, Head of ESA’s Space Debris Office at ESOC, which is closely monitoring the GOCE re-entry. With recent orbit data from this morning, based on TIRA radar measurements and GOCE satellite-to-satellite tracking, augmented with orbit data from international partners of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC), the re-entry of the satellite can be predicted with an accuracy of about plus or minus 2 orbits. The re-entry is expected to occur between 18:30 UTC – 24:00 UTC, Sunday, 10 November (19:30 CET – 01:00 CET, Sunday to Monday, 10/11 November); the most probable impact ground swath largely runs over ocean and polar regions. With a very high probability, a...

Sunday morning update from ESOC

ESA’s Christoph Steiger, the GOCE Spacecraft Operations Manager at ESOC, sent in this update earlier this morning. Less than 1 day before the predicted re-entry into the atmosphere, the spacecraft is still functioning well and we are proceeding with our standard spacecraft operations activities. GOCE is at roughly 147 km altitude this morning; the drop rate is greater than 1 km per hour and increasing. Drag levels are now too high to be measured by the accelerometers. Based on the results of our orbit determination, early this morning they are around 165 mN average drag. Temperatures of units and subsystems close to the front of the spacecraft keep increasing (by about 13...

Saturday GOCE status update from ESOC

This sent in just a couple hours ago by ESA’s GOCE Operations Manager Christoph Steiger, at ESOC. This morning GOCE was at an altitude of around 160 km. As expected, the drag levels have increased very much, with the average now around 90 mN (milliNewton). Despite the extreme environmental conditions, we had a problem-free acquisition of signals from the spacecraft this morning (meaning that the ground station found GOCE pretty much in the orbital position it was predicted to be). The attitude control of the spacecraft is performing very well. Data from the Gradiometer is now only usable for part of the orbit, when drag levels are below 80 mN and the...

GOCE flight expected to end shortly

Re-entry of GOCE into Earth’s atmosphere is predicted to occur during the night between Sunday and Monday, 10/11 November. Break-up of the spacecraft will occur at an altitude of approximately 80 km. The estimate is based on the results of detailed analysis, taking in to account a number of changeable factors including spacecraft orientation, the functioning of the attitude control system, as well as solar and geomagnetic activity. As of this morning, GOCE was at an altitude of roughly 170 km and was expected to sink by more than 8 km within the day. The Rocket Science blog spoke earlier with Prof Heiner Klinkrad, Head of ESA’s Space Debris Office at ESOC,...

Friday GOCE status update from ESOC

This update was provided this morning by GOCE Spacecraft Operations Manager Christoph Steiger at ESOC. This morning, GOCE is at an altitude of roughly 170 km, with atmospheric drag levels at an average of over 50 mN (milli Newton). The geomagnetic field was unsettled yesterday, leading to peaks in drag above 100 mN. The spacecraft keeps performing excellently at these extreme conditions, exceeding our expectations. We are still getting good acceleration data from the Gradiometer, which may be of much value for atmospheric density studies. We will however be seeing more and more saturation on the accelerometers as drag levels go up. The two scientific GPS receivers – the so-called Satellite-to-Satellite Tracking Instruments...

GOCE at 192 km: Update from ESOC

This update sent in from GOCE Operations Manager Christoph Steiger at ESOC this morning. This morning, GOCE is at an altitude of roughly 192 km, with atmospheric drag levels at an average of 24 mN (milliNewton) and peaks up to 35 mN. The spacecraft is still fully functional with good attitude control. Our routine spacecraft monitoring and tracking activities are proceeding as planned. Today, GOCE is expected to drop by about 4 km. The atmospheric drag and the resulting altitude decay rate are going to increase significantly over the coming days, as GOCE gets lower and lower.

GOCE at 205km: Update from ESOC

This update provided by GOCE Operations Manager Christoph Steiger at ESOC. GOCE is now at an altitude of roughly 205 km, having lost about 19 km since depletion of fuel on 21 October. The atmospheric drag has increased substantially during the orbital decay, from an average of about 8 mN (milli Newton) to above 15 mN. The spacecraft behaviour is as expected, with the attitude control system continuing to work fine. We keep doing our routine spacecraft operations activities; no major problems have been encountered so far. The recent rise in solar activity has contributed to a noticeable increase in drag. Interesting days may lie ahead, as several coronal mass ejections (CMEs)...

Track GOCE in orbit

Our tracker widget is now turned off! The GOCE mission is complete. Thanks to Chip at n2yo.com for an excellent service that helped us see where GOCE had been!

Update on GOCE from ESOC

Today’s update on GOCE was provided by the Spacecraft Operations Manager, Christoph Steiger, at ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany. Following depletion of fuel last Monday, GOCE’s orbit has decayed by about 5.5 km in the last days. As of today, the spacecraft is at an altitude of roughly 218.5 km. As expected at this early stage of the decay, drag levels are rather low and the spacecraft is behaving as expected. GOCE’s attitude and orbit control system is now in the so-called Fine Pointing Mode, the normal operational mode during orbital decay. Standard operations activities like spacecraft monitoring & control and orbit determination & prediction are proceeding routinely, albeit with improved ground station coverage...