U.S.-French satellite prepared for launch

May 1, 2008

A U.S.-French spacecraft designed to continue a long-term survey of Earth's oceans has arrived in the United States for its final launch preparations.

The spacecraft -- Jason-2 -- was flown on a Boeing 747 from its manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space, in France to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. After final testing it will be integrated onto a launch vehicle for a June liftoff.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the Jason-2 satellite will study ocean circulation and the effect oceans have on weather, climate and how our planet is responding to global climate change.

The spacecraft will be launched into a circular, non-sun-synchronous orbit, allowing it to monitor 95 percent of Earth's ice-free oceans every 10 days.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International