DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Jason-1 satellite orbiting the Earth, artwork. This satellite, launched in 2001, is a joint mission between NASA and the CNES (the French space agency). It uses an array of five instruments, including a radar altimeter, to map ocean surface topography to a high degree of accuracy. This allows global monitoring of tides, ocean currents and oscillations, ocean circulation, and climate change-induced rises in sea levels. It is the successor to the Topex-Poseidon satellite (1992-2006) and was itself followed by the Jason-2 satellite (also known as the Ocean Surface Topography Mission, OSTM), which was launched in 2008.
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