Questions tagged [goce]

Questions regarding the European Space Agency's Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer, also known as GOCE.

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Exactly how “Ferrari-like” was GOCE? Was its drag coefficient as low as the car's?

This comment mentions: This relation between drag and mass is taken to a relative (for satellites) extreme in GOCE which I think needed to be close to Earth to accurately sense the changes in gravity,...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Relation between GOCE gravity model and Earth shape

There are a couple of viral videos claiming that "NASA shows that Earth is shaped like potato". The source of such videos is 3D visualization of data collected by GOCE satellite (full animation, video ...
6
votes
1answer
168 views

Is GOCE designed to break up in the atmosphere?

Soon, ESA is planning to deorbit GOCE, letting it burn up in the atmosphere. It seems this has been the plan for a long time - so why won't the satellite be completely annihilated into pieces small ...
8
votes
3answers
398 views

How can all of GOCE's pieces land in a 20 square yard area?

I was reading this article, and noticed this statement: The chances that a chunk of GOCE or any other space debris will injure anyone are tiny, but not zero. Floberghagen said the debris will ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do malfunctioning satellites come back to Earth?

In school, I learned that if a satellite moves at a speed $\sqrt{gR}$ (the square root of the product of the acceleration due to gravity and radius of the Earth), then it will remain in Earth's orbit. ...