Watch video of the Launch at SpaceRef.TV

The joint NASA/French Space Agency oceanography satellite
Jason 1 successfully rode a Delta II rocket into orbit from
California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 2W
at 7:07:36 a.m. PST today.

Jason 1 will join its orbiting cousin, the venerable
Topex/Poseidon satellite, to continue observations of the
global climate interaction occurring between the sea and the
atmosphere as a result of stored solar energy. Instruments on
the satellite will map variations in ocean surface topography
to monitor world ocean circulation, study interactions of the
oceans and atmosphere, improve climate predictions and observe
events like El Nino. The mission is expected to last three

At 55 minutes, 20 seconds into the mission — or 8:02
a.m. PST — the Jason 1 spacecraft separated from the Delta’s
second stage. Following separation, Jason’s twin sets of
solar arrays were unfolded and the satellite began its
rotation toward the Sun. Ground controllers successfully
acquired the spacecraft’s signal from the Poker Flats, Alaska,
tracking station at 8:41 a.m. PST. Initial telemetry reports
received by the Jason team show the spacecraft to be in
excellent health.

The French Space Agency, Centre National d’Etudes
Spatiales (CNES), will handle satellite control and operations
through the spacecraft’s on-orbit checkout phase, expected to
last approximately 30 to 50 days. The Toulouse Space Centre
in Toulouse, France, is in charge of these operations.
Routine operations will then transfer to NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Additional information is available on the Internet at: , the JPL home page at , , and on the
CNES home page at .

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology
in Pasadena, manages the U.S. portion of the mission for
NASA’s Office of Earth Science, Washington, D.C.