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US-French earth observation satellite mission ends
Posted: Thu, Jul 4, 2013, 9:25 AM ET (1325 GMT)
Jason-1 illustration (NASA) A Franco-American satellite that has observed the Earth's oceans for over a decade was formally retired this week after a transmitter failure. NASA and the French space agency CNES jointly developed the Jason-1 satellite, launched in December 2001 by a Delta 2 rocket, to measure sea levels, wind speeds, and wave heights over most of the world's oceans. Controllers lost contact with Jason-1 on June 21 after the last scheduled communications pass indicated no problems with the spacecraft. Engineers believe that last working transmitter on the spacecraft failed, preventing the spacecraft from communicating with the ground. Jason-1 was designed to last three to five years. A successor spacecraft, Jason-2, is providing similar data, while Jason-3 is under development for launch in 2015.
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