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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight Center


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The Seasat spacecraft was launched in late June 1978, and during its brief 110-day lifetime, collected 90 days of nearly continuous radar altimeter data between the latitudes of 72 deg S and 72 deg N.
Seasat Satellite


The U.S. Navy Geosat radar altimeter satellite delivered data from April 1985 to September 1989 covering the earth's surface between +/- 72 deg latitude.
Geosat Satellite


The Navy's Geosat Follow-On (GFO) satellite was launched on February 1998 with the objective of continuing ocean observations started by the highly successfull Geosat mission.


The European Space Agency's ERS-1 radar altimeter satellite was launched in July of 1991 and provided data from August 1991 to July 1996 in an orbit that extended coverage over the ice sheets to +/- 81.5 degrees.
ERS-1 satellite


The European Space Agency's ERS-2 Radar Altimeter Satellite was launched in April of 1995 in an orbit that extended coverage over the ice sheets to +/- 81.5 degrees. On June 22, 2003, ERS-2 lost its tape recorder capabilities. In April 2005, the mission reached its 10-year operation and in September 2011, the ERS-2 satellite was retired.
ERS-2 satellite


The European Space Agency's Envisat satellite was launched into orbit on March 2002, with the aim of continuing data measurements of the ERS (ESA) Remote Sensing Satellites. The Envisat mission ended on April 2012.
Envisat Satellite


The CryoSat-2 satellite replaces the original CryoSat, which was lost due to a launch failure in October 2005. CryoSat-2, with a number of improvements, was launched on April 8th, 2010. ESA's Earth Explorer CryoSat mission is dedicated to precise monitoring of the changes in the thickness of marine ice floating in the polar oceans and variations in the thickness of the vast ice sheets that overlie Greenland and Antarctica.
Cryosat Satellite