The Status of the GOCE Mission
Fehringer, Michael1; Floberghagen, Rune2
1ESA, NETHERLANDS; 2ESA, ITALY
Designed for a one and a half years operational lifetime the Goce mission will come to an end in late 2013 after almost 5 years of continuous and highly successful operations only because the Xenon fuel for the electric propulsion system to keep the satellite in orbit will exhaust. The mission has achieved all of its scientific goals and exceeded its expectations in many areas. It has delivered the most accurate gravity field to date and provides unique datasets for atmospheric density modelling at altitudes that have not been explored by civilian spacecraft so far. To further improve the spatial resolution from nominally 100 km to about 80 km the orbital altitude was reduced from 255 km to 235 during the last year of operations. The paper will present the status of the GOCE mission and discuss the planned operations until end of life of the satellite.