Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

March launch planned for ESA's gravity mission

05.02.2009
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.

Mariangela D'Acunto | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.int
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/SEMB9FXPXPF_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?
02.12.2016 | University of Toronto

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>