The Jason-3 spacecraft launched Sunday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California as part of an international mission that seeks to monitor global weather and rising sea levels.
“The measurements from Jason-3 will advance our efforts to understand Earth as an integrated system by increasing our knowledge of sea level changes and the ocean’s roles in climate,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for science at NASA headquarters.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration leads the mission and works with NASA, the space agency’s French counterpart CNES and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.
Jason-3 will begin a six-month checkout phase before its enters full science operations.
Thales Alenia Space said Sunday it equipped Jason-3 with the Poseidon-3B dual-frequency altimeter, the DORIS orbit determination system, the Advanced Microwave Radiometer, a laser retro-reflector array and a GPS payload.