GOCE first global gravity model

GOCE mission milestones

Although the satellite's life in orbit is now over, the mission is only getting started as scientists use the data to understand more about our planet.

11 November 2013
Life in orbit ends as the GOCE satellite reenters Earth's atmosphere

October 2013
GOCE runs out of fuel

21 October 2013
Geoid combined with altimetry data to improve measurements of ocean surface currents

October 2013
GOCE provides information about upper atmosphere densities and wind speeds

September 2013
Data used to study geodynamics in Earth's lithosphere

March 2013
Analysing earlier GOCE data, scientists discovered that GOCE had detected sound waves in space from earthquake that hit Japan in 2011

February 2013
Data used to settle long-standing debate on slope of sea

November 2012
Planned mission complete but decision made to lower orbit to 235 km since fuel consumption lower than anticipated because of low solar activity

March 2012
GOCE data used to map the Moho

March 2011
Scientists have access to the most accurate model of the geoid every produced

November 2010
GOCE granted 18-month extension

29 September 2010
GOCE resumes normal service

6 September 2010
GOCE recovers from telemetry glitch that had prevented the satellite from sending its scientific data to Earth for several weeks

29 June 2010
First global gravity model presented at ESA’s Living Planet Symposium

September 2009
GOCE in measurement mode

17 March 2009
GOCE launched at 15:21 CET!

16 March 2009
Launch operations stopped a few seconds before liftoff due to an anomaly in the launch tower. Launch rescheduled for 17 March 2009

4 February 2009
Planned launch date of 16 March 2009 announced

24 October 2008
Launch delayed until 2009

16 October 2008
Tentative 27 October launch date postponed to allow conclusion of technical equiry

2 October 2008
New tentative launch date of 27 October 2008 set

8 September 2008
GOCE launch delayed due to an anomaly in the guidance and navigation subsystem of the launcher's upper stage (Breeze KM ). Launch rescheduled for 5 October 2008

1 September 2008
GOCE encapsulated in the fairing of the Rockot launch vehicle

1 August 2008
GOCE arrives at Plesetsk Cosmodrome for start of launch campaign

29 July 2008
GOCE en route to Russia’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome

May-June 2008
GOCE satellite reconfigured for September launch

May 2008
New launch date set for GOCE: 10 September 2008

March 2008
GOCE media day at ESA/ESTEC

August 2007
GOCE arrives at ESA-ESTEC in the Netherlands for final testing

March 2007
Instruments integrated into gradiometer at Alcatel Alenia Space, Cannes, France

February 2007
GOCE Mission Advisory Group Meeting at Alcatel Alenia Space, Turin, Italy during integration and testing of GOCE Flight Model

December 2006
High-Level Processing Facility acceptance review successfully passed

November 2006
Third International GOCE User Workshop, at ESA-ESRIN, Frascati, Italy

October 2006
Announcement of Opportunity for the Exploitation of GOCE Data released

September 2006
GOCE platform delivered to Alcatel Alenia Space for final integration of flight model

July 2006
Payload Data Segment (PDS) and Instrument Processing Facility (IPF) acceptance in ESA-ESRIN, Frascati, Italy

December 2005
GOCE System level Critical Design Review (CDR) close-out meeting

Testing of the Ion Propulsion Assembly (IPA) Engineering Qualification Model (EQM) at Qinetiq, UK

Acceptance Review of the first complete version of the High-Level Processing Facility

July 2005
Part 1 of GOCE Satellite System level Critical Design Review completed
Critical Design Review of High-level Processing Facility, and the Calibration and Monitoring Facility
Payload Data Segment (PDS) Acceptance Review 1

December 2004
Version 0 Acceptance Review of HPF
Calibration and Monitoring Facility (CMF) and Reference Planning Facility (RPF) System Requirements Review successfully concluded

November 2004
Ground Segment Design Review successfully completed

October 2004
Contract signed between ESA and the Institute for Astronomical and Physical Geodesy (IAPG) from the Technical University of Munich for GOCE data analysis and modelling

October 2004
GOCE High-Level (Level 1 – Level 2) Processing Facility (HPF) Contract signed

March 2004
Second International GOCE User Workshop at ESA-ESRIN, Frascati, Italy

December 2003
Issue of Request For Quotation (RFQ) for the implementation and operation of the Level 2 High Level Processing Facility to the European GOCE Gravity Consortium (EGG-C)
Contract placed with Eurockot Launch Services GmbH for launch of GOCE spacecraft

September 2003
Approval of proposals for Scientific pre-processing and External Calibration and Validation of GOCE L1b data products. One proposal approved for development of a Level 2 Data Processing Facility, from the European GOCE Gravity Consortium (EGG-C).

May 2003
Release the Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for scientific pre-processing, external calibration and validation of Level 1B GOCE data products

February 2003
Release of GOCE Level 1b Payload Data Segment ITT

November 2002
Completion of GOCE Ground Segment Requirements Review

May 2002
Release of GOCE Space Segment Phase C/D (construction and integration phases)

April 2002
Successful completion of the GOCE Space Segment Preliminary Design Review

April 2001
First International GOCE User Workshop at ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands

February 2001
Full release of GOCE Space Segment Phase B Invitation to Tender (ITT) to Industry

December 2000
Start of Phase B with a preliminary authorisation

November 1999
Approval of GOCE by the Programme Board for Earth Observation

October 1999
"Granada II" Workshop with endorsement to select GOCE and ADM as first Earth Explorer Core Missions

July 1999
End of Phase A resulting in a comprehensive Report for Mission Selection

July 1998
Kick-off for feasibility study (Phase A)

May 1996
"Granada I" Workshop with recommendation to study the concept for a future gravity mission

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