There might be no statistics of people afraid being whacked by objects falling from the sky but those who spent a while looking up and looking out for the European Space Agency's Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (or GOCE) satellite that crashed back to earth Sunday can rest easy now. The "Space Ferrari," as it was nicknamed because of its aerodynamic design and build, re-entered the planet's atmosphere over the South Atlantic Ocean, on Sunday, and most of its components disintegrated before hitting the surface.

The 2,425-pound satellite descended about 300 miles off the Falkland Islands, located east of Patagonia in Argentina. Only about 25 percent or about 600 pounds of the craft did not burn and reached earth's surface. The GOCE used up its fuel on October 21 and eventually gave in to gravity but it continued sending data about ocean currents, air density, and wind speeds to the European Space Agency during its final hours.

"Close to 01:00 CET on Monday 11 November, ESA's GOCE satellite reentered Earth's atmosphere on a descending orbit pass that extended across Siberia, the western Pacific Ocean, the eastern Indian Ocean and Antarctica. As expected, the satellite disintegrated in the high atmosphere and no damage to property has been reported," the ESA stated in its official blog.

The Space Debris Office of the ESA coordinated with other agencies while monitoring the re-entry of the Space Ferrari.

"The one-tonne GOCE satellite is only a small fraction of the 100-150 tonnes of man-made space objects that reenter Earth's atmosphere annually. In the 56 years of spaceflight, some 15 000 tonnes of man-made space objects have reentered the atmosphere without causing a single human injury to date," explained Heiner Klinkrad, head of the ESA Space Debris Office.

One of the biggest achievements of the GOCE is the mapping of earth's geoid that gives scientists a better understanding of how the oceans will behave based on the planet's topography and effects of gravity.

"A precise model of Earth's geoid is crucial for deriving accurate measurements of ocean circulation, sea-level change and terrestrial ice dynamics. The geoid is also used as a reference surface from which to map the topographical features on the planet. In addition, a better understanding of variations in the gravity field will lead to a deeper understanding of Earth's interior, such as the physics and dynamics associated with volcanic activity and earthquakes," the ESA explained through its blog.

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