Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

March Launch Planned For ESA's Gravity Mission

Date:
February 5, 2009
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
ESA is now gearing up to return to Russia to oversee preparations for the launch of its GOCE satellite – now envisaged for launch on 16 March 2009. This follows implementation of the corrective measures after the anomaly with the Rockot launcher that delayed the launch of GOCE by Eurockot Launch Services last October.

The GOCE gradiometer contains three pairs of proof masses positioned at the outer ends of three 50 cm long orthogonal arms. Because of their different position in the gravitational field they all experience the gravitational acceleration of the Earth slightly differently. The three axes of the gradiometer allow the simultaneous measurement of six independent but complementary components of the gravity field.
Credit: ESA - AOES Medialab

ESA is now gearing up to return to Russia to oversee preparations for the launch of its GOCE satellite – now envisaged for launch on 16 March 2009. This follows implementation of the corrective measures after the anomaly with the Rockot launcher that delayed the launch of GOCE by Eurockot Launch Services last October.

An advance party from ESA has just arrived at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia to arrange logistical matters while the team of engineers will arrive in mid-February.

The five metre-long GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) satellite has been in storage at the launch site since last October. Once the team of ESA and Thales Alenia Space engineers arrive, work will begin preparing the satellite for launch. As prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space has led an all-European consortium of over 40 companies to build the GOCE satellite.

ESA's GOCE Project Manager Danilo Muzi commented that, "The team are really eager to resume the launch campaign and to finish the job interrupted last autumn. The launch in a few weeks time will be the deserved reward for all their efforts."

GOCE is the first in a series of Earth observation satellites called Earth Explorers. These small missions are developed in direct response to a range of Earth-science issues identified by the scientific community whilst demonstrating new technology in space. GOCE certainly lives up to this – its sleek high-tech design embodying many firsts in terms of design and use of new technology to map the Earth's gravity field as never before.

The satellite has been designed to orbit just 250 km above the surface of the Earth – its unusual aerodynamic shape cutting through of what remains of the atmosphere. This low-orbiting satellite is the first mission to employ the concept of gradiometry in space. The concept involves the measurement of acceleration differences over short distances between an ensemble of proof masses inside the spacecraft that respond to tiny variations in the 'gravitational tug' of the Earth as it travels along its orbital path.

The data acquired by GOCE will bring about a whole new level of understanding of one of the Earth most fundamental forces of nature. Improved knowledge of the gravity field is one of the most important building blocks for understanding how the Earth works. Mapping the gravity field with unprecedented accuracy, the GOCE mission will realise a broad range of fascinating new possibilities for the fields of oceanography, solid Earth physics, geodesy and sea-level research – significantly contributing to our understanding of climate change.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "March Launch Planned For ESA's Gravity Mission." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204094951.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2009, February 5). March Launch Planned For ESA's Gravity Mission. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204094951.htm
European Space Agency. "March Launch Planned For ESA's Gravity Mission." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204094951.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) A comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system passed extremely close to Mars this weekend, giving astronomers a rare opportunity to study it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) Argentina launches a home-built satellite, a first for Latin America. It will ride a French-made Ariane 5 rocket into orbit, and will provide cell phone, digital TV, Internet and data services to the lower half of South America. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

NASA (Oct. 17, 2014) Power spacewalk, MAVEN’s “First Light”, Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) The smallest of Saturn's main moons, Mimas, wobbles as it orbits. Research reveals it might be due to a global ocean underneath its icy surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins