GOCE Sat Delay Puts Off Gravimetric Weapons

The Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite launch has been delayed again, this time to February of 2009. Star Trek fans are understandably annoyed; how long must we wait for the basic science data that could lead to the development of gravimetric pulse weapons?


(Gravimetric pulse weapon deployment)

People who appreciate satellite aesthetics are also feeling a bit unhappy; the GOCE satellite is arguably the most wicked-cool-looking object ever (almost) launched into space by the European Space Agency (and maybe anyone else).


(GOCE satellite)

The sleek, elegant aerodynamic design of GOCE immediately sets it apart from most other satellites. Since it is vital to ensure that the measurements taken are of true gravity and not influenced by any movement of the satellite, this unique five-metre long arrow-shaped satellite has none of the moving parts often seen in other spacecraft. Therefore, the satellite together with its instrumentation actually forms a single composite gravity-measuring device...

The need to fly low and be ultra-stable has lead to a novel satellite design that minimises air drag and torque and excludes mechanical disturbances. The result is a slim 5 metre-long satellite with a cross sectional area of about 1m2 and weighs in at about 1050 kg.

From Goce gravity flight slips to 2009 and GOCE satellite [ESA]. Thanks to Moira for contributing the tip on this item.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/24/2008)

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