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Goce's quest is to produce a snapshot of the Earth's gravity field at an unprecedented resolution. The data will inform a multitude of science disciplines:
understanding how the mass of ocean waters circulate, moving heat around the planet, will assist climate prediction
a better knowledge of the way mass is distributed inside the Earth will be useful to those who study geo-hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes
and because gravity defines what is meant by "up", "down" and "level", the new data can underpin a truly universal system to compare heights the world over
Goce is the first of Esa's Earth Explorers, a series of spacecraft that will provide quick answers to key environmental questions.