Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

First Earth Explorer Core Mission Will Study Earth's Interior

The GOCE satellite will be in orbit for a minimum of two years and will provide unique data which will help to advance knowledge in a wide range of research and application areas, including solid Earth physics, oceanography, ice sheet dynamics and sea level changes. Graphic by Alenia Spazio
Paris (ESA) Feb. 12, 2001
The go-ahead has been given for the next phase of a European mission to measure the Earth's gravity field and a derived geoid to unprecedented accuracy and resolution using a highly sophisticated three-axis gradiometer.

Scheduled for launch in 2005, the GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady State Ocean Circulation Explorer) satellite is the first of the core explorer missions planned as part of ESA's Living Planet Programme.

ESA confirmed last week that it had selected Italian-based space company, Alenia Spazio, as prime contractor.

The GOCE satellite will be in orbit for a minimum of two years and will provide unique data which will help to advance knowledge in a wide range of research and application areas, including solid Earth physics, oceanography, ice sheet dynamics and sea level changes.

Danilo Muzi, ESA's GOCE project manager, said: "Current knowledge of the Earth's gravity field and its geoid will be substantially enhanced by exploiting new satellite-based gravity observation techniques.

"It is only through a better understanding of the Earth's gravity field that we can improve our knowledge of the physics of the Earth's interior, the interaction of the continents and the ocean circulation. The use of satellites is the only way to achieve this globally and within a reasonable time period," said Danilo.

The Phase B design activities are planned to continue until the end of this year when the implementation work will begin, known as Phase C/D.

The appointment of Alenia Spazio as prime contractor follows a year-long selection process which culminated in a decision being reached at ESA's Industrial Policy Committee at the end of January.

Reinhold Zobl, the Head of ESA's Earth Observation Programmes Development Department said "The IPC approval of the Contract Proposal for the Phase B/C/D/E1 of the GOCE Space Segment represents a very important milestone in ESA's Living Planet Programme.

"We can now proceed with the implementation of the first Core Explorer Mission which addresses the needs of the solid Earth physics, geodetic and oceanographic scientific communities."

Alenia Spazio will be supported by a core team consisting of Astrium GmbH (platform), Alcatel Space Industries (Gradiometer instrument) and ONERA (Gradiometer accelerometers and supporting the assessment of the satellite performances).

Andrea Allasio, GOCE's Project Manager at Alenia Spazio said "We are proud to be contributing to improving knowledge of our planet's physics by developing, together with the selected Core Team, the GOCE spacecraft for this challenging ESA program. As industrial prime contractor, we are confident in the success of the mission."

Related Links
Gravity Field and Steady State Ocean Circulation Mission
Earth Explorer Home
Observing the Earth
Alenia Spazio
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

Simulations Reveal Earth Dynamo At Work
Santa Cruz - Feb. 23, 2000
Deep in Earth's interior is a dynamo that creates the planet's magnetic field -- a kind of generator driven not by spinning turbines but by swirling flows of liquid iron. The workings of this dynamo cannot be observed, but scientists have used computer simulations to gain powerful new insights into the operation of the "geodynamo" and the behavior of Earth's core.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.