Tag Archives: re-entry

Predicting GOCE re-entry: a citizen-scientist’s v...

Today’s guest post was provided by Marco Langbroek, Leiden, NL, a keen back-yard astronomer and past contributor to ESA’s ATV blog. He updates us on his efforts to track GOCE’s (now famous) re-entry, which occurred on 11 November 2013. The intro below was provided by ESA’s Holger Krag, from the Space Debris Office at ESOC. It’s a pleasure for the professionals at ESA’s Space Debris Office to note the strong support for re-entry analysis and, indeed, accurate and valid scientific participation, by ‘citizen scientists’ like Marco Langbroeck. Thank you Marco, for sharing your methods, results and enthusiasm. – H. Krag, ESA Space Debris Office In the evening of 10 November, near 19:54...

GOCE’s pathway to final destruction

A very informative graphic provided by the ESA Space Debris Office showing the path taken by GOCE during its final destructive re-entry on 11 November 2013. The graphic summarizes the GOCE impact location as reported by the USA’s JSpOC (JOint Space Operations Centre, at Vandenberg Airforce Base, California) at 56° S and 60° W, at 01:16 CET, Monday, 11 November, 2013, combined with the impact ground swath that was estimated by ESA’s space debris experts using the SCARAB (Spacecraft Atmospheric Re-Entry and Aerothermal Break-up) software tool.

GOCE re-entry region

Update from ESA’s Space Debris Office at ESOC, using information provided by ESA partners and the US tracking network. In close cooperation with USSTRATCOM, ESA’s Space Debris Office gives the following estimated results for GOCE re-entry: The atmospheric interface at ~80 km altitude occurred, following a USSTRATCOM confirmation, at the latest, at 01:16 CET (00:16 UTC) 11 November 2013 This would correspond to a geographical location of approx. 60 degree West and 56 degree South, near the Falkland Islands This would put the main area over which any possible GOCE remnants fell to the southernmost regions of the Atlantic Ocean. View Larger Map

Update from ESA Space Debris Office at 23:10CET

This latest (and possibly final) forecast was just received from Prof Heiner Klinkrad, Head of the ESA Space Debris Office at ESOC. On a short pass over the Troll ground station that ended at 21:18 CET (20:18 UTC), while GOCE flew at an altitude of only 122 km, the satellite was still showing an amazing system performance, and dumped highly valuable data to the ground station. Using these data, that included very accurate navigation fixes along its trajectory, an orbit could be fitted that was used to forecast the re-entry of the spacecraft. Current estimates lead to a re-entry time window between 22:50 UTC on 10 November and 00:50 UTC on 11 November...

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.

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...

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,...