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01101001
2009-Mar-12, 06:46 PM
GOCE -- Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer

ESA is about to launch GOCE, after a most recent delay from late Summer 2008. I don't know much about it. Whenever I go to read about it, I'm distracted by images of the bright shiny object that is the GOCE spacecraft. Oh, pretty...

http://www.esa.int/images/28_S,0.jpg http://www.esa.int/images/GOCE_S_C6_A_S.jpg http://www.esa.int/images/GOCE_S_C2_goce_S.jpg

Uh... what was I saying?

Here, have some links.

ESA GOCE Mission (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/index.html)
ESA Living Planet Programme: GOCE (http://www.esa.int/esaLP/LPgoce.html) (with launch countdown clock)
NASA Solar System Exploration: GOCE Mission (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/profile.cfm?MCode=GOCE) (needs updating)
ESA Twitter (http://twitter.com/eurospaceagency)
Wikipedia: Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_Field_and_Steady-State_Ocean_Circulation_Explorer)

Wikipedia:


Mission objectives

To determine gravity-field anomalies with an accuracy of 10–13g.[2] To increase resolution, the satellite will fly in an unusually low orbit.
To determine the geoid with an accuracy of 1-2 cm.
To achieve the above at a spatial resolution better than 100 km.


Spaceflight Now launch tracking (http://spaceflightnow.com/tracking/index.html):


Launch time: 1421 GMT (10:21 a.m. EDT)
Launch site: Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia

A Eurockot Rockot vehicle will launch the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite for the European Space Agency. GOCE will map global variations in Earth's gravity field with unprecedented detail and derive measurements of ocean circulation and changes in sea level. Delayed from Sept. 10 to replace unit in rocket's guidance and navigation subsystem. Delayed from Oct. 5, Oct. 27, February and March 11. [Feb. 5]

Launch target:
2009 March 16 0721 PDT, Monday
2009 March 16 1021 EDT, Monday
2009 March 16 1421 UTC, Monday

About 4 days to launch

01101001
2009-Mar-13, 06:00 AM
GOCE

So I was wondering if it's pronounced Gose (like dose), or Go-see or G-O-C-E or what. So I watched a video about the launch team. An Italian pronounced it, of course, like Go-chay. That's-a good enough for me.

01101001
2009-Mar-14, 04:21 PM
ESA GOCE Launch Timeline (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/SEMZTUITYRF_0.html)


Timeline of the most significant events during countdown, launch and the early orbit phase for GOCE. Liftoff is scheduled for 15:21 CET on Monday, 16 March 2009, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.

Launch target:
2009 March 16 0721 PDT, Monday
2009 March 16 1021 EDT, Monday
2009 March 16 1421 UTC, Monday

1 day 22 hours to launch

01101001
2009-Mar-15, 07:22 PM
ESA Twitter (http://twitter.com/eurospaceagency)


Forecast for launch site : 0 to -5C and winds at ground and higher altitudes within launch limits
about 2 hours ago from TweetDeck
GOCE fueling began at 07:32 CET this morning.
about 3 hours ago from TweetDeck

Launch target:
2009 March 16 0721 PDT, Monday
2009 March 16 1021 EDT, Monday
2009 March 16 1421 UTC, Monday

19 hours to launch

Swift
2009-Mar-16, 01:00 PM
Less than 1-1/2 hours to launch

01101001
2009-Mar-16, 01:16 PM
ESA Twitter (http://twitter.com/eurospaceagency)


ESOC: GO/NO-GO roll call complete. ESOC is 'go' for launch

But I'm gonna miss this one. Gotta go. Good luck, GOCE.

ESA: Watch the launch live (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/SEMV5HITYRF_0.html) (begins in about 20 minutes)

Launch target:
2009 March 16 0721 PDT, Monday
2009 March 16 1021 EDT, Monday
2009 March 16 1421 UTC, Monday

65 minutes to launch

slang
2009-Mar-16, 02:44 PM
The stream shows a "launch delayed" message.

BBC news: Gravity satellite launch delayed (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7946480.stm)


Controllers suspended the countdown just seven seconds away from lift-off at 1421 GMT on Monday from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in north-west Russia.

It is not yet clear what the problem was, or how long the launch will remain postponed.

Swift
2009-Mar-16, 03:19 PM
From the ESA website

16 March 2009
GOCE launch delayed, and investigations are underway. Follow the press briefing at 16:00 CET.

01101001
2009-Mar-16, 06:21 PM
ESA GOCE News: Launch of ESA’s gravity mapping satellite delayed (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/SEMP85JTYRF_0.html)


However, the launch operations were stopped a few seconds before scheduled liftoff as the doors of the launch service tower did not open. Due to this anomaly, the tower was held in position and did not move back as required for a launch.
The teams in charge of the launch operations are currently investigating the cause of this anomaly and will be able to provide further information later today. At present there is confidence that the launch can take place tomorrow at the same time (15:21 CET).

Tentative launch target:
2009 March 17 0721 PDT, Tuesday
2009 March 17 1021 EDT, Tuesday
2009 March 17 1421 UTC, Tuesday
2009 March 17 1521 CET, Tuesday

20 hours to launch -- maybe

publiusr
2009-Mar-16, 06:38 PM
More here:
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/rockot.html

Based on:
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/ur100n.html http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/ur100n.htm


That itself came from--
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/ur100.html http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/ur100.htm


The Launch provider
http://www.eurockot.com/
http://www.spaceandtech.com/spacedata/elvs/eurockot_sum.shtml
http://www.aerospaceguide.net/lv/rockot.html
http://www.speedylook.com/Eurockot.html
http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/launches/eurockot_preview_000515.html

Payload of a couple tons or less.

01101001
2009-Mar-16, 07:07 PM
Wikipedia: Plesetsk Cosmodrome (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plesetsk_Cosmodrome)


Plesetsk Cosmodrome (Russian: Космодром «Плесецк») is a Russian spaceport, located in Arkhangelsk Oblast, about 800 km north of Moscow and south of Arkhangelsk.
It was originally developed by the Soviet Union as a launch site for intercontinental ballistic missiles. Construction started in 1957 and it was declared operational for R-7 rockets in December 1959. The urban-type settlement of Plesetsk in Arkhangelsk Oblast had a railway station, essential for the transport of missile components. A new town for the support of the facility was named Mirny, Russian for "peaceful". By 1997, more than 1,500 launches to space had been made from the site, more than for any other launch facility, although the usage has declined significantly since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Google Maps: Plesetsk Cosmodrome (http://maps.google.com/maps?t=h&q=62.916667,40.516667&ie=UTF8&ll=62.91664,40.516548&spn=0.104884,0.309334&z=12&iwloc=addr)

01101001
2009-Mar-16, 08:51 PM
Buckle up.

ESA GOCE Mission (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/index.html)


The launch of ESA's Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) has been confirmed for Tuesday 17 March at 15:21 CET. The problem that halted today's countdown has been identified and solved.


Go, go, GOCE.

Launch target:
2009 March 17 0721 PDT, Tuesday
2009 March 17 1021 EDT, Tuesday
2009 March 17 1421 UTC, Tuesday
2009 March 17 1521 CET, Tuesday

17-1/2 hours to launch

Swift
2009-Mar-16, 08:57 PM
However, the launch operations were stopped a few seconds before scheduled liftoff as the doors of the launch service tower did not open.

The problem that halted today's countdown has been identified and solved.
Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.
Dave Bowman: What's the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

01101001
2009-Mar-17, 01:01 PM
I'll miss this one too.

ESA: Watch the launch live (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/SEMV5HITYRF_0.html) (begins about 15 minutes before launch)

Launch target:
2009 March 17 0721 PDT, Tuesday
2009 March 17 1021 EDT, Tuesday
2009 March 17 1421 UTC, Tuesday
2009 March 17 1521 CET, Tuesday

1 hour 20 minutes to launch

BetaDust
2009-Mar-17, 02:13 PM
Live coverage just began:

ESA, GOCE Launch. (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/SEMV5HITYRF_0.html)

BetaDust
2009-Mar-17, 02:21 PM
Launch!! Go GOCE!

BetaDust
2009-Mar-17, 02:23 PM
Damn that thing was fast.

BetaDust
2009-Mar-17, 02:25 PM
First Stage sep. Payload fairing sep.

slang
2009-Mar-17, 02:31 PM
Ooh, did you see the UFO zipping around the spacecraft in the simulation? It had the aerodynamic shape of a mouse cursor!

slang
2009-Mar-17, 02:55 PM
BBC News: Gravity satellite heads skyward (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7945170.stm)


The European Space Agency has just launched its gravity mapping satellite, Goce - after a day's delay.

It left Earth at 1421GMT on a modified intercontinental ballistic missile from north-west Russia.

The flight will not be declared a success until Goce separates from its rocket about 90 minutes after lift-off.

BetaDust
2009-Mar-17, 03:21 PM
Live Webcast (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/SEMV5HITYRF_0.html) of GOCE Signal Acquisition starts at: 15:35 UTC/GMT.

GOCE Signal Acquisition Webcast (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/SEMV5HITYRF_0.html).

BetaDust
2009-Mar-17, 03:34 PM
And on: Universe Today (http://www.universetoday.com/).


Europe's Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) is headed into orbit, after a successful launch at 10:21 a.m. EDT (14:21 GMT) on Tuesday from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.

At last a successful launch for european climate satellite. (http://www.universetoday.com/2009/03/17/at-last-successful-launch-for-european-climate-satellite/)

01101001
2009-Mar-17, 04:13 PM
ESA Twitter (http://twitter.com/eurospaceagency)


Deputy Spacecraft Operations Manager C. Steiger via ESA TV "Receiving good telemety..."
18 minutes ago from TweetDeck
AOS! First signals acquired from GOCE by ESA ground station in Kiruna! :-)
19 minutes ago from TweetDeck

01101001
2009-Mar-21, 05:23 PM
ESA GOCE News: GOCE completes early orbit phase (http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMZ8TJTYRF_index_0.html)


20 March 2009
ESA's GOCE satellite was formally declared ready for work at 01:00 CET on 20 March. During the critical Launch and Early Orbit Phase beginning with separation from its booster on 17 March, GOCE was checked out to confirm that all of its control systems are operating normally.

Let the commissioning begin.

Launch window
2009-Mar-28, 09:44 AM
Geologists are going to love checking out this one, since it could even have the ability to map out subterranean lava flows

publiusr
2009-Mar-30, 09:09 PM
A slick launch for a slick craft. This is how it's done.

01101001
2009-Apr-12, 02:03 AM
Catching up on news.

ESA GOCE News: GOCE’s ‘heart’ starts beating (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/SEMUKIEH1TF_0.html)


8 April 2009
GOCE’s highly sensitive gradiometer instrument has been switched on and is producing data. Forming the heart of GOCE, the gradiometer is specifically designed to measure Earth’s gravity field with unprecedented accuracy.

ESA GOCE News: GOCE's electric ion propulsion engine switched on (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/SEMSZCEH1TF_0.html)


6 April 2009
GOCE's sophisticated electric ion propulsion system has been switched on and confirmed to be operating normally, marking another crucial milestone in the satellite's post-launch commissioning phase.

ToSeek
2009-May-27, 02:54 PM
GOCE satellite achieves drag-free perfection (http://www.physorg.com/news162565775.html)


ESA's gravity mission GOCE has achieved a first in the history of satellite technology. The sophisticated electric propulsion system has shown that it is able to keep the satellite completely free from drag as it cuts through the remnants of Earth's atmosphere - paving the way for the best gravity data ever.

tsumrall
2009-May-27, 07:50 PM
I looks so big and impressive in the art but is about the size of a long car! Fun to imagine that pretty being a few k's long :)

publiusr
2009-Jun-04, 10:00 PM
I have this funny image in my head.

We can't use a wind tunnel to test our spacecraft for drag--we have a vacuum tunnel.

But thats not enough for the smoke trails to test our draf co-ef'. How do you similate the super thin atmo in the vacuum chamber?

Well, we have trained these two fleas to break wind...