Space

European Satellite Crashes in Atlantic Ocean

If any pieces actually remained on re-entry

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A 1-ton European science satellite plunged back into Earth's atmosphere and incinerated with debris most likely landing in the southern regions of the Atlantic Ocean, officials said on Monday.

The last contact by ground tracking stations with Europe's Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer, known as GOCE, was at 5:42 p.m. EST (2242 GMT) on Sunday as the spacecraft flew just 75 miles above Antarctica, the European Space Agency said.

Extrapolating from computer models, officials believe GOCE hit the upper atmosphere about 50 miles above the planet's surface no later than 7:16 p.m. EST Sunday (0016 GMT Monday) near the Falkland Islands.

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