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Goce satellite to fall to Earth

The European Space Agency (Esa) is preparing for the fiery fall to Earth of its Goce gravity-mapping satellite.

The sleek spacecraft is flying just 224km above the planet, but its special electric engine that maintains this altitude is about to run out of fuel.

When it does, the one-tonne Goce will plunge rapidly through the atmosphere, burning up as it descends.

Prof Reiner Rummel from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, told our correspondent Jonathan Amos what Goce had achieved in orbit.

  • 11 Sep 2013
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