Spacecraft: Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 (OSTM) Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta II 7320 Launch Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2) Launch Date: June 20, 2008 Launch Time: 3:46 a.m. EDT (12:46 a.m. PDT)
Liftoff! Image above: A Delta II rocket roars off the launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to begin the Ocean Surface Topography Mission aboard the Jason-2 spacecraft. Photo credit: ULA/Carleton Bailie › View Hi-Res Image
The Ocean Surface Topography Mission is under way following a thundering liftoff at 3:46 a.m. EDT aboard a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Jason-2 spacecraft and its OSTM instruments are in an orbit that will let the satellite scan 95 percent of the world's ice-free oceans.