The Jason-3 oceanography satellite, developed by CNES working with international partners and successfully launched Sunday 17 January from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California, by a Falcon 9 launcher, has reached its operational orbit. Immediately after being injected into orbit by the launcher, the satellite came under control of teams at the Toulouse Space Centre and all systems on the Proteus bus and all the instruments were successfully switched on. The teams were then able to generate the first real-time Jason-3 data product, less than three days after launch. Over the course of the next few days, Jason-3 will be joining its predecessor Jason-2, trailing one to three minutes behind in the same orbit to allow cross-comparison of data for the next six months. It will then take its place in CNES’s historic series of altimetry satellites and begin its mission to extend the record of sea-surface height data in support of climate change monitoring efforts engaged at the COP21 climate conference.
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