ESA’s Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) has been developed to bring about a whole new level of understanding of one of the Earth’s most fundamental forces of nature – the gravity field.
Although invisible, gravity is a complex force of nature that has an immeasurable impact on our everyday lives. It is often assumed that the force of gravity on the surface of the Earth has a constant value, but in fact the value varies subtly from place to place. These variations are due to a number of factors such as the rotation of the Earth, the position of mountains and ocean trenches and variations in density of the Earth’s interior. Over its lifetime of about 20 months, GOCE will map global variations in the gravity field with extreme detail and accuracy.
GOCE is now scheduled for launch on 5 October, following delays due to an anomaly identified in one of the units of the guidance and navigation subsystem of the launchers upper stage.
European Space Agency: ESA’s gravity mission GOCE
Science Daily: Launch of GOCE delayed
Yahoo News : European science satellite launch is delayed
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