What is GOCE?
ESA's dart-like Gravity field and Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) Earth Explorer orbited as close to Earth as possible - just 260 km up - to maximise its sensitivity to variations in Earth's gravity field. Launched in 2009, GOCE's state-of-the-art gradiometer mapped Earth's geoid to an unprecedented level of accuracy, opening a window into Earth's interior structure as well as the currents circulating within the depths of its oceans.
The GOCE mission came to a natural end in October 2013 when it ran out of fuel and reentered our atmosphere on 11 November.
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20 March 2019
Ten years ago, ESA launched one of its most innovative satellites. GOCE spent four years measuring a fundamental force of nature: gravity. This extraordinary mission not only yielded new insights into our gravity field, but led to some amazing discoveries about our planet, from deep below the surface to high up in the atmosphere and beyond. And, this remarkable mission continues to realise new science today.
It was five years ago this month that ESA's GOCE gravity-mapping satellite finally gave way to gravity, but its results are still yielding buried treasure – giving a new view of the remnants of lost continents hidden deep under the ice sheet of Antarctica.
29 June 2018
A team of researchers, supported under ESA's Basic Activities, has recently investigated a resourceful new method of monitoring space weather. They utilised the data from the Swarm and GOCE Earth Explorer missions, and from LISA Pathfinder to investigate whether platform magnetometer data could also be used for space weather diagnostics.
Parts of Earth's crust are rising very slowly owing to post-glacial rebound, but using GPS, researchers have found that West Antarctica is rising faster than almost anywhere else in the world. And, ESA's GOCE gravity mission has, in turn, helped them to understand that the mantle below is unusually fluid.
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GOCE Data Quality
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