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Bente Lilja ByeRSS Feed of this column.

Earth science expert and astrophysicist writes about Earth observation, geodesy, climate change, geohazards, water cycle and other science related topics.

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Bringing together more than 9.000 geoscientists from all over Europe and the rest of the world into one meeting covering all disciplines of the Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, the European Geophysical Union (EGU) annual General Assembly takes place in Vienna this week.
On March 17th 2009 Europe's first geodetic satellite was successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. The first stages of putting the satellite in a stable recording orbit are proceeding according to plans. So far, so good.

GOCE inside
Credit: ESA - AOES Medialab

Maybe ESA’s Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) is destined to launch on the exact same date as Vanguard 1, the third artificial satellite to ever orbit our planet after Sputnik and Explorer 1. On March 17th 1958 Vanguard 1 was successfully launched and as a matter of fact the satellite is still orbiting our planet as today's longest 'living' satellite ever.

I am not a gambler, except when it comes to my own life. I'm referring to my astronaut application a few years back. I was not happy the selection committee was happy for me being pregnant and used that as an excuse to not allow any further tests on me. I will forever hate that committee; but I love my son.
Today is Darwin Day. I didn't think I'd participate in this particular internet adventure.


Right now we have a tandem situation. Jason-1 and Jason-2 are flying in tandem above our heads. Sounds like fun perhaps, but who cares? And who are Jason and what's with the numbers, anyways?