Artis's impression of the CHAMP-Satellite
Launch: 15 July 2000, 2p.m. CEST
End: 19 September 2010, 12.10p.m. CEST
Conceived at the Potsdam GeoResearch Centre, CHAMP (Challenging Minisatellite Payload) is a research satellite which, operating from a near-Earth orbit, made important contributions towards the exploration of the Earth’s magnetic and gravitational field as well as for atmospheric physics. It provided reference data of hitherto unattained accuracy for geodesy, new insights in geophysics and oceanography, and contributions to climate research. The measurements it made of the Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field from the extremely low altitude of its last flight phase are unique.
Equipped with seven scientific instruments, the satellite was originally designed for a life of five years. Thanks to its robust technology and favourable "space weather conditions", the life of the satellite was eventually more than twice as long. During its entire active period, it was controlled and its data received by DLR’s German Space Operations Centre at Oberpfaffenhofen. On 19 September 2010, at 10.26 a.m., two hours before the satellite burned up, the ground station succeeded in making contact with it for the last time, successfully retrieving the data that were buffered on board.
The CHAMP research satellite is a project of the Potsdam GeoResearch Centre (GFZ) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). Equipment was provided by international partners from the USA and France. Jena-Optronik GmbH (JOP) was responsible for the construction of the satellite.
||15. July 2000, 2 p.m. CEST|
||Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia|
||Russian COSMOS rocket|
||460 km, |
gradually diminishing over the years
|Scheduled mission duration
|Actual mission duration
||10 years and 2 months|
|Last ground contact
||19. September 2010, 10.26 a.m. CEST|
at 150 km altitude
|End by atmospheric re-entry
19. September 2010, 12.10 p.m. CEST
above the Sea of Okhotsk (56°N, 149°O)