(CNN) - Nobody knows where or when the fragments will hit, but the European Space Agency has said the parts are likely to fall into the ocean or unpopulated areas. Potential spots will be narrowed down closer to re-entry, ESA said on its website.
Re-entry probably will occur Sunday or Monday, Rune Floberghagen, mission manager for the Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Explorer, better known as GOCE, told the New York Times.
GOCE was launched in 2009 to map variations in the Earth's gravity in 3D, provide ocean circulation patterns and make other measurements.
ESA's website said the satellite "became the first seismometer in orbit" in March 2011 when it detected sound waves from the earthquake that struck Japan.
GOCE was expected to fall much earlier but fuel consumption was less than expected. In August, the satellite's altitude was lowered to about 139 miles, lowest of any research satellites, to improve the accuracy of the information being gathered, ESA's website said.
GOCE ran out of fuel October 21. On November 4, ESA's website said the satellite was orbiting the Earth at 119 miles and the rate of descent would increase significantly in coming days.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 7:27 PM EDT2014-03-11 23:27:28 GMT
A man stabbed a dog to death after police said the animal attacked him and his dog. Sherwood police were called out to an initial report of a dog bite on the 15800 block of Southwest Baler Way at 7 a.m.More >
A man stabbed a dog to death after police said the animal attacked him and his dog in Sherwood.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-03-12 00:01:40 GMT
A 33-year-old man exposed himself to a classroom full of high school students in Eugene on Tuesday morning. Police said Christopher Vanorden entered classroom with students around 8 a.m. at WillametteMore >
Eugene police said a 33-year-old man exposed himself in front of a classroom full of students Tuesday morning.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 1:09 PM EDT2014-03-11 17:09:43 GMT
The girlfriend of a Keizer teenager charged with shooting of his parents said she tried to warn them. Brett Pearson and Robert Miller are accused of murder in Thursday's late-night attack which left Pearson'sMore >
The girlfriend of a Keizer teenager charged with shooting of his parents said she tried to warn them.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 9:04 PM EDT2014-03-12 01:04:15 GMT
A pileup involving 12 vehicles shut down the most popular route from Portland to the Oregon Coast on Tuesday morning.There was a fire at the scene of the crash, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation,More >
A pileup involving 12 vehicles shut down the most popular route from Portland to the Oregon Coast on Tuesday morning. SLIDESHOW: 12-vehicle crash More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 4:18 PM EDT2014-03-11 20:18:04 GMT
One of two people accused of a deadly crime spree as part of a white-supremacist plot has pleaded guilty in court. Holly Grigsby reached a plea deal Tuesday. She now faces life in prison for the robberies,More >
Holly Grigsby changed her plea in court Tuesday. She now faces life in prison for the robberies, kidnappings and killings in Oregon, Washington and California in 2011.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:34 AM EDT2014-03-11 15:34:17 GMT
A search is on for a Vancouver woman who sheriff's deputies said is missing near Beacon Rock State Park on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.Daphne Christ's black Suzuki station wagon wasMore >
Daphne Christ works at a Vancouver elementary school, but she hasn't been seen in days. More >