The Thales Alenia Space-built Jason-2 satellite, to be launched by a Boeing Delta II rocket on 15 June from Vandenberg Air Force Base, has left its Cannes integration centre for the launch site.

In its 1,336km (829 miles), 66 degree inclination orbit, the 553kg (1,216lb), 550W Jason-2's oceanographic mission is a collaboration between French space agency CNES, NASA, and two meteorological organisations - Darmstadt based-Eumetsat and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which oversees data analysis.

Designed to study the Earth's oceans and climate, Jason-2 will take over from its predecessor, Jason-1, which has also been in a 1,336km orbit for seven years.

Based on the CNES Proteus platform, Jason-2 uses the Thales Alenia Space-developed Poseidon-3 altimeter as part of its payload. Jason-2 could provide new services, including maritime forecasts for ships.

Source: Flight International