The Decade of Geopotential Field Research, inaugurated in 1999 with the launch of the Danish satellite Ørsted on 23 February, was designed as an international effort to promote and coordinate continuous monitoring of geopotential field variability in the near-Earth environment. Since 1999, the Challenging Minisatellite Payload (CHAMP), the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), the Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas-C (SAC-C), and most recently, the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellites have combined with Ørsted to generate an unprecedented wealth of data on Earth's magnetic and gravity fields.
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