Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

GOCE prepares for shipment to Russia

24.07.2008
Launching in just two months' time, GOCE – now fully reconfigured for launch in September, is currently being prepared for shipment on 29 July 2008 from ESA's test facilities in the Netherlands to the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.

Originally, the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) mission had been scheduled for launch in May 2008, but as a result of precautionary measures taken following a problem with an upper-stage section of a Russian Proton launcher, the launch date was postponed until 10 September 2008. Consequently, the satellite had to be reconfigured for a so-called 'summer launch configuration'.

Since the GOCE gravity mission is designed to fly at a particularly low altitude of just 263 km and at a slight inclination with respect to an exact polar orbit, the satellite goes into the shadow of the Earth during polar nights for 28 minutes 135 days each year.

By going into the Earth’s shadow where no sun hits the satellite, GOCE experiences changes in temperature that could potentially affect measurements. Not knowing exactly when GOCE would launch, the option to choose whether it went into Earth’s shadow, referred to as an ‘eclipse period’, between October and February or between April and August was included in its design.

The choice between these two options is made by either launching into a northward equator crossing at 06:00 or at 18:00. The main difference between the launch times – as seen from the Sun – is that it determines whether the satellite flies clockwise or anticlockwise around the Earth.

Since GOCE will launch in September, the preferred eclipse period is April to August because it allows unaffected commissioning and science operations until April next year.

Over the last two months the satellite has been successfully reconfigured and fully tested and is now in the process of being prepared for its journey from ESA-ESTEC to the launch site in Russia.

On the morning of 29 July a container holding the GOCE satellite, along with six other containers carrying a whole host of support equipment, will be loaded onto trucks and taken to Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Once aboard an Antonov cargo aircraft, the shipment will be flown to Arkhangelsk, Russia, where the container will be transferred to a train for the rest of the journey to the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Additional support equipment is being transported by ship to the launch site on 21 July from Antwerp, Belgium.

After the satellite is unpacked, a final check will be carried out before being mounted onto its Rockot launch vehicle 13 days prior to launch.

Once launched and commissioned, GOCE will map global variations in the gravity field with extreme detail and accuracy. This will result in a unique model of the geoid, which is the surface of equal gravitational potential defined by the gravity field – crucial for deriving accurate measurements of ocean circulation and sea-level change, both of which are affected by climate change.

GOCE-derived data is also much needed to understand more about processes occurring inside the Earth and for use in practical applications such as surveying and levelling.

Robert Meisner | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEMX13THKHF_index_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

nachricht Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>