Satellite did no known damage after re-entry

Image provided by European Space Agency (ESA) shows research satellite GOCE flying above Earth
AP Photo/European Space Agency,ESA

BERLIN The European Space Agency says one of its research satellites that had run out of fuel caused no known damage after re-entering Earth's atmosphere.

ESA said the satellite re-entered the atmosphere at about 7 p.m. EST Sunday on a descending orbit pass that extended across Siberia, the western Pacific Ocean, the eastern Indian Ocean and Antarctica.

ESA says, "As expected, the satellite disintegrated in the high atmosphere and no damage to property has been reported."

The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer, or GOCE, was launched in 2009 to map the Earth's gravitational field.

ESA says its information is being used to understand ocean circulation, sea level, ice dynamics and the Earth's interior.

It's been gradually descending over the last three weeks after running out of fuel Oct. 21.