From: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
Posted: Wednesday, March 22, 2006
After the loss of CryoSat, 8 October 2005, Esa has confirmed the CryoSat recovery mission to study Earth's cryosphere. CryoSat-2 is scheduled to launch in 2009, with CNES's Doris* precise-positioning system on board.
Designed to meet strong demand from the scientific community, the CryoSat spacecraft was lost last autumn due to a malfunction of its Russian Rockot launcher.
At the latest meeting of its Earth Observation Programme Board, at headquarters in Paris on 23 and 24 February, Esa received the green light from member states to build and launch a CryoSat recovery mission, CryoSat-2. "This decision is very important, as the scientific community in Europe and elsewhere is eagerly awaiting resumption of the CryoSat mission", said Volker Liebig, Esa Director of Earth observation programmes.
Artist's impression of CryoSat. Credits: Esa
CryoSat-2 will have the same objectives as the original CryoSat mission; it will monitor the thickness of land and sea ice, and help explain the connection between the melting of polar ice and rising sea levels and how this is contributing to climate change.
The CryoSat spacecraft will carry out a 3-year mission dedicated to very precisely monitoring changes in the elevation and thickness of polar ice sheets and floating sea ice. It will orbit at an unusually high inclination, reaching latitudes of 88° North and South.
To accomplish this mission, its payload will include:
For this new mission, CNES is also providing its network of ground orbitography beacons and will be responsible for science data processing.
It will also be tasked with monitoring orbit determination product performance, reprocessing data from Siral and long-term archiving of mission data at its new SALP** altimetry and precise positioning department.
* Doris: Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite
** Siral: Service d'Altimétrie et de Localisation Précise
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