HASTA LA VISTA

Ocean-Mapping Satellite Decommissioned

NASA has decommissioned a satellite that has tracked rising sea levels over the last 11 years. Known as Jason-1, the satellite was launced on December 7, 2001, and circled Earth more than 53,500 times. The decision to scrap the satellite, which recorded a rise of almost 1.6 inches in global sea levels, was made after its last transmitter failed. A joint venture between the U.S. and French space agencies, the satellite was originally expected to have a life span of three to five years. It's estimated that Jason-1 will remain in orbit for about 1,000 years before it falls back to Earth.