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Mission Photos:

GOCE Satellite
GOCE (Courtesy of ESA)

Mission Objectives:

The GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) is an ESA mission dedicated to measuring the Earth's gravity field and modelling the geoid with extremely high accuracy and spatial resolution. It is the first Earth Explorer Core mission to be developed as part of ESA's Living Planet Programme and is scheduled for launch in May 2008. The satellite consists of a single rigid octagonal spacecraft, approximately 5 m long and 1 m in diameter with fixed solar wings and no moving parts.

On November 11, 2013 ESA's GOCE satellite reentered Earth's atmosphere, disintegrating in the upper atmosphere.

The main objectives of the mission are:

  • To determine the gravity-field anomalies with an accuracy of 1 mGal (where 1 mGal = 10-5 m/s2)
  • To determine the geoid with an accuracy of 1-2 cm
  • To achieve the above at a spatial resolution better than 100 km

Mission Instrumentation:

GOCE has the following scientific instruments:

  • Gradiometer: 3 pairs of 3-axis, servo-controlled, capacitive accelerometers (each pair separated by a distance of 0.5 m)
  • 12-channel GPS receiver with geodetic quality
  • Laser retroreflector enabling tracking by ground-based lasers
GOCE Mission Parameters:
Sponsor: ESA
Expected Life: 2 years
Primary Applications: Gravity field determination
Primary SLR Applications: Calibration of GPS orbits
COSPAR ID: 0901301
SIC Code: 0499
Satellite Catalog (NORAD) Number: 34602
Launch Date: March 17, 2009
NP Bin Size: 5 seconds
Satellite file name code: goce
RRA Dimensions: 125 mm x 57 mm
RRA Shape: Hemisphere
Reflectors: 7 corner cubes
Altitude: 295 km
Inclination: 96.7 degrees
Eccentricity: 0.0

Additional Information:

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