Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, 17 January 2016 – The Jason-3 high-precision ocean altimetry satellite was successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 19:42 CET (10:42 California time) on a Falcon 9 launcher procured by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as the acquisition agent for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Jason-3 will secure the continuity of the unique climate data record of the mean sea level initiated by Topex-Poseidon in 1992 and continued by Jason-1 and Jason-2.
Jason-3 will perform measurements of ocean waves and ocean surface topography, representing essential inputs to numerical forecasts of sea state and ocean currents used in operational oceanography. Jason-3 measurements will also be used by numerical models coupling the atmosphere and the oceans for seasonal forecasting.
Jason-3 will provide key input data to the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS), which provides regular and systematic reference information on the physical state of the global ocean and the European regional seas, in particular for the generation of CMEMS sea-level products.
To ensure consistency of the measurements and climate data records from the Jason orbit, Jason-3 will be cross-calibrated with Jason-2 before routine operations.
Jason-3 is the result of an international partnership between EUMETSAT, the French Space Agency (CNES), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the European Union, which funds European contributions to Jason-3 operations as part of its Copernicus Programme.