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Ocean Surface Topography from Space
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Jason-1 Completes 50,000 Orbits
September 18, 2012
Artists concept of Jason-1.
This Tuesday, Sept. 18, the Jason-1 satellite will complete its 50,000th orbit around Earth. On Dec. 7, 2001, Jason-1 was launched to precisely measure global sea surface height (ocean surface topography) from 1,336 kilometers (830 miles) up. Designed to last three to five years, Jason-1 is approaching its 11th year in orbit. During this time, it has helped to revolutionize our understanding of Earth's global ocean and has served as a critical yardstick for measuring global climate change. In May 2012, the Jason-1 team successfully moved the spacecraft to a lower orbit, where it is now improving our knowledge of how gravity varies from one region to another. This information helps scientists learn more about the shape of the sea floor (also called ocean bottom topography).

Congratulations to the entire Jason-1 team on reaching yet another exciting milestone!

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