European Space Agency‘s GOCE research satellite is due to fall back to Earth on Sunday night. Although weighing 1100 kilogram, the mass that is expected to reach the Earth’s surface won’t be more than 90 kilograms. And there’s barely a chance of anyone getting hit by this debris, scientists have assured.
The GOCE satellite was launched back in 2009 and it was aimed at mapping the Earth’s gravitational field. The satellite has been working until quite recently but last month, it ran out of fuel. The 1100-kilogram satellite has already fallen to an altitude of 170 kilometers.
It is coming steadily down and towards Earth’s surface. For now, the satellite is still in one piece but ESA has stated that once it comes down to an altitude of 80 kilometers, it will break up into pieces. Once that happens, 80% of the satellite‘s body will burn in mid-air due to immense amounts of friction.
Nearly 90 kilograms of it’s mass will be able to survive this wreck and reach Earth’s surface. However, ESA has claimed that humans are 250,000 more likely to win the lottery than to get hit by the remnants of this debris. In other words, your chance of getting hit by the satellite’s remain is next to nothing and so, there is no cause for concern.