Latest Gravimetry Stories

2009-03-18 13:59:07

After liftoff March 17, ESA's GOCE spacecraft is performing very well, having achieved an extremely accurate injection altitude just 1.5 km lower than planned. The Mission Control Team is now working round-the-clock shifts to implement a series of critical check-out procedures. The Mission Control Team at ESOC, ESA's Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, are now conducting the complex and critical 'Launch and Early Operations Phase' (LEOP) for GOCE, which was successfully launched...

2009-03-17 09:40:00

ESA's Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) successfully launched on schedule Tuesday with plans to provide an unprecedented view of Earth's gravity field. GOCE launched via a Russian Rockot vehicle from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Russia at 1421GMT on Tuesday. Mission managers must now wait for about 90 minutes after lift-off before GOCE separates from its rocket. GOCE was expected to launch on Monday, but technical problems forced mission managers to suspend the...

2009-03-11 10:32:33

With liftoff just five days away, ESA's GOCE spacecraft "“ encased in the protective two half shells of the launcher fairing "“ has been transported from the clean room and installed in the launch tower at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. The so-called Upper Composite, which comprises the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Explorer (GOCE) satellite joined to the KM-Breeze Upper Stage of the Rockot launcher and sealed within the fairing, was protected by a thermal...

2009-02-04 10:13:22

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...

2008-10-27 12:00:22

The European Space Agency says the launch of its GOCE Earth Explorer satellite will not take place earlier than February due to a system failure. The ESA said Russian authorities responsible for the rocket that will carry the GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) satellite into orbit have completed their investigation of a failure in the rocket's upper state guidance and navigation system. The anomaly was discovered during the spacecraft's launch preparation...

2008-10-24 12:35:00

Ongoing technical problems with its launcher has forced Europe's gravity mission to be bumped to next year. The arrow-shaped GOCE satellite will map tiny variations in the pull of gravity experienced across the world, giving scientists a clearer insight into how the oceans move, and provide a universal reference to measure height anywhere on Earth. But reliability concerns over its Russian rocket means a lift-off is now unlikely before February. The delay is frustrating for the Gravity Field...

2008-09-09 11:00:00

The preparatory activities for the launch of ESA's GOCE satellite from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia had to be stopped yesterday afternoon (Sunday 7 September) by Eurockot due to an anomaly identified in one of the units of the guidance and navigation subsystem of the launcher's upper stage (Breeze KM ). The correction of the problem will require the replacement of this unit. In order to perform this operation, it will be necessary to de-mate the launcher's upper composite and...

2008-09-04 10:10:00

As preparations for the launch of GOCE on 10 September continue on schedule, an important milestone has just been achieved as engineers at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia say farewell to the satellite as it is encapsulated in the two half-shells of the launcher's fairing. Now sealing the slender five-meter long GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) spacecraft from view, the protective fairing will not be opened again until around three minutes after...

2008-08-25 12:00:18

The European Space Agency says it is about to launch its most sophisticated mission ever to investigate the Earth's gravitational field. The ESA said its "Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation explorer," or GOCE, will map the reference shape of the planet -- the geoid -- with unprecedented resolution and accuracy. The satellite is to be launched into a low altitude, near-sun synchronous orbit Sept. 10 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia, about 500 miles north of Moscow....

2008-05-27 12:56:31

A new launch date has been set for GOCE. The change of date is due to precautionary measures taken after the malfunction of an upper-stage section of a Russian Proton launcher. Now confirmed not to affect GOCE's Rockot launcher, the most advanced gravity mission to date is scheduled for lift-off on September 10 2008.As a consequence of the new launch date, the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite is currently undergoing final flight reconfiguration at...

Word of the Day
  • In the phrase to out-herod Herod, to be more violent than Herod (as represented in the old mystery plays); hence, to exceed in any excess of evil.
Herod refers to 'Herod the Great,' a Roman client king and 'a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis.' According to the OED, the term is 'chiefly with allusion to Shakespeare's use' in Hamlet.