GOCE science satellite completes mission
After more than four and a half years of operation, the GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady State Ocean Circulation Explorer) satellite is about to complete its mission started back in March 2009 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome , Russia. GOCE, built and integrated by Thales Alenia Space, was undoubtedly the first and most sophisticated satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA) for the study of the Earth's gravitational field and the circulation of the oceans.
During its mission, GOCE helped creating a global map of Earth's gravity field with unprecedented resolution, a result that has already found wide application in the fields of geodesy, oceanography, geophysics, climatology and glaciology .
Thales Alenia Space has had the role of prime contractor for the European Space Agency for the realization of GOCE, and was in charge of project development, integration and testing of the satellite, all activities that involved the plants of Cannes, Milan and Turin. Thales Alenia Space has also coordinated the contributions from major European subcontractors involved in the program, including the German EADS Astrium and the French laboratories ONERA.
Thales Alenia Space, European leader in satellite systems and at the forefront of orbital infrastructures , is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%), and forms with Telespazio the "Space Alliance". Thales Alenia Space is a global benchmark in the field of satellite systems for telecommunications, environmental monitoring and the Earth's climate , defense and security , exploration and scientific research.