The small CHAMP (Challenging Minisatellite Payload) satellite was a German earth observation mission relevant for the geosciences and atmospheric physics. Its payload made possible the simultaneous determination of earth’s gravity and magnetic fields. Because of its long service life, not only the spatial distribution of these fields could be determined, but also their temporal variability. In addition, CHAMP employed GPS radio occultation methodology for remote sensing of the atmosphere in order to obtain global vertical profiles of temperature and water vapor in the troposphere/stratosphere and electron density in the ionosphere.
After 58,277 orbits the end finally came: on September 19, 2010 at noon, the georesearch satellite CHAMP burned up in the atmosphere. Exactly ten years, two months and four days after launch the satellite ended its mission over the Sea of Okhotsk.