Ocean Satellite Dies After 11½-Year Mission
A U.S.-French science satellite that tracked rising sea levels for more than a decade and helped forecasters make better weather predictions worldwide has gone dark.
NASA announced Wednesday that it has decommissioned Jason-1 after its last remaining transmitter failed. It will run out of battery power within 90 days but remain in a graveyard orbit for about 1,000 years before falling back to Earth.
The satellite was launched in 2001. It scanned a vast area of the ocean's surface, making precise measurements of wave height and temperature-related changes.
Lee-Lueng Fu, a Jason-1 project scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, says the satellite was instrumental in keeping tabs on El Nino events and other weather-changing conditions.
A replacement, Jason-2, was launched in 2008 and is still operating.