GOCE satellite construction

GOCE satellite construction

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Credit: EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY,A. Le Floc'h/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: GOCE satellite construction. ESA's (European Space Agency's) GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer) spacecraft undergoing acoustic tests at ESA's Technical Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. Since it's launch on 17th March 2009, the GOCE satellite has gathered enough data to map Earth's gravity with unrivalled precision. This has led to the most accurate model of the 'geoid' ever produced (as of 2011). The geoid is the surface of an ideal global ocean in the absence of tides and currents, shaped only by gravity.

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