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ESA's Earth Explorer gravity satellite on show

GOCE, ESAs first satellite dedicated to measuring the Earths gravity field, has been presented to the press today in Turin, Italy, before being shipped to ESTEC the space agencys research and technology centre in the Netherlands for final testing.

The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer(GOCE), the first core Earth Explorer mission to be developed as part of ESA's Living Planet Programme, will significantly advance our knowledge of how the Earth works and provide insight into ocean circulation, sea-level change, climate change, volcanism and earthquakes. The spacecraft has been in Italy at Thales Alenia Space, the prime contractor for the development, integration and testing, for roughly nine months where the last subsystems and the payload were integrated on its platform.

Speaking at todays media event, Carlo Alberto Penazzi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space in Italy, said: "We are especially proud to have played a major role in this ESA project, which represents a crucial step forward in increasing our knowledge of the structure of our planet and its well-being."

ESA GOCE Project Manager, Danilo Muzi highlighting the role of industry in this very challenging satellites development, said: "Forty-five companies distributed over 13 European countries have been working with ESA on the design of the satellite since 2001. The development of the GOCE satellite represents genuine European industrial cooperation."

"ESA's gravity satellite will measure Earth's gravity from place to place around the globe to provide a uniform global picture. It will do this with a level of detail and accuracy never before achieved," ESA GOCE Project Scientist, Mark Drinkwater, said. "This fundamental reference dataset will give access to new scientific insights into ocean circulation and its impact on climate, as well as into the structure of the interior of the Earth in critical locations su
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Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
Mariangela.DAcunto@esa.int
39-069-418-0856
European Space Agency
19-Jul-2007


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