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Falling Satellite Unlikely To Hit People


The European Space Agency says that one of its research satellites that ran out of fuel will most likely crash into the ocean or one of the Earth’s polar regions sometime between the evening of November 10 and early the next morning.

The agency said the satellite will mostly disintegrate as it comes down and "only a few pieces which could be 90 kilograms at the most" could reach the Earth’s surface.

Experts say the statistical risk to humans is remote.

The satellite, called The Gravity Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE), is a low-orbit research craft launched in 2009 to monitor gravity variations and sea levels. It ran out of fuel on October 21 after performing for twice as long as originally predicted.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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