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Jason-2 moves to a new orbit

30 June 2017

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The Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 mission marked its ninth year in orbit on 20 June. Designed to fly three to five years, Jason-2 has now completed more than 42,000 trips around our planet, contributing to a data base that dates back to the launch of the U.S./French TOPEX/Poseidon satellite in 1992.

Over the past nine years, Jason-2 has precisely measured the height of 95 percent of the world's ice-free ocean every 10 days. Since its launch in June 2008, it has measured a 4 centimetre increase in global mean sea level, which has been rising at an average rate of about 3 millimetres a year since satellite altimetry records began in 1992. It has also tracked changes in regional sea level; monitored the speed and direction of ocean surface currents; enabled more accurate weather, ocean and climate forecasts; and observed multiple El Niño and La Niña events. Since October 2016, it has operated in a tandem mission with its successor, Jason-3, launched in January 2016, doubling coverage of the global ocean and improving data resolution for both missions.


Image credit: EUMETSAT - Jason-2 mission

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