I figured this would be worth de-hibernating for (hat-tip Gas Glo). From the ESA homepage:
1 February 2011
Scientists can now tap into a flow of new data that will help to determine exactly how Earth's ice is changing. This information from ESA's CryoSat mission is set to make a step change in our understanding of the complex relationship between ice and climate.
Considering the loss of the original CryoSat satellite during launch in 2005, scientists around the world have had a long wait for information on ice thickness – making the release even more of a milestone for the mission.
ESA's CryoSat Mission Manager Tommaso Parrinello announced the release at the CryoSat Validation workshop currently taking place. He said, "We are pleased to announce this important milestone, which comes only few weeks after the end of the commissioning phase.
"As of today, the international science community will have free and easy access to all of the measurements from CryoSat. This will amount to a unique dataset to determine the impact climate change is having on Earth's ice fields."
CryoSat's polar orbit reaches latitudes of 88°. This orbit brings it closer to the poles than previous Earth observation satellites, covering an additional 4.6 million sq km – an area larger than all 27 European Union member states put together.
Credits: ESA /AOES Medialab
Continue reading at the ESA homepage...