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JASON satellite mission status report

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  • David <b1blancer1@earthlink.net>
    News Release: 2002-227 Jason Mission Status The joint NASA-French Space Agency oceanography satellite Jason is set to embark on the science phase of its
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 12, 2002
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      News Release: 2002-227

      Jason Mission Status

      The joint NASA-French Space Agency oceanography satellite Jason is set
      to embark on the science phase of its scheduled five-year voyage to
      study ocean circulation and its effect on climate. Jason's
      instruments have been accurately cross-calibrated with its predecessor
      spacecraft, Topex/Poseidon, and the quality of its science products
      has been validated.

      The end of the mission's calibration/validation phase paves the way
      for production and distribution of Jason's first official science data
      products sometime in February.

      Dr. Lee-Lueng Fu, JPL project scientist for Jason and Topex/Poseidon,
      said his team is pleased with Jason's performance. "While there's
      still room for improvement, Jason's measurement performance has
      already exceeded Topex/Poseidon's," he said. "We look forward to
      sharing Jason data with the world scientific community in the very
      near future, where we expect it will have an immediate impact in
      providing new insights into the currently developing El Niño condition."

      Jason will continue Topex/Poseidon's observations of ocean surface
      topography for monitoring world ocean circulation, studying
      interactions of the oceans and atmosphere, improving climate
      predictions and observing events like El Niño. Its onboard altimeter
      precisely maps the surface height of 95 percent of Earth's ice-free
      oceans every 10 days. Sea-surface heights are a measure of how much
      heat is stored in the ocean below. This heat influences both present
      weather and future planetary climate events. The spacecraft also
      provides continuous data on wind speed and wave height.

      Launched December 7, 2001, Jason now complements the Topex/Poseidon
      oceanography satellite, launched in August 1992. Last August,
      Topex/Poseidon was maneuvered to an orbit halfway between its original
      orbits, which are now being covered by Jason. The two satellites are
      now performing a tandem mission that will enable improved detection of
      ocean eddies, coastal tides and currents.

      The U.S. portion of the Topex/Poseidon and Jason missions is managed
      by JPL for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, Washington, D.C. Research
      on Earth's oceans using Topex/Poseidon and Jason and other space-based
      capabilities is conducted by NASA's Earth Science Enterprise to better
      understand and protect our home planet.

      More information about Jason and Topex/Poseidon is available at:
      http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/index.html .
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