It is with sad news that I relay to our readers the death of SeaWIFS. She was a good satellite, “the little satellite that could”. An email about the death of SeaWIFS by scientist Gene Feldman was posted:
I am very sorry to have to report the news that after nearly two months of intensive research and numerous attempts at communication with the spacecraft, GeoEye has determined that the SeaWiFS mission is no longer recoverable. While this is certainly not the outcome that we were all hoping for, the international scientific community certainly could not have asked for a more tenacious little spacecraft and instrument that has served us so well for the past 13+ years. Not bad for a spacecraft and mission that so many people thought would never get off the ground let alone make it through the projected 5 year mission life.
We will be putting together a little feature this week on the OceanColor website about this wonderful little instrument but I wanted to pass along a couple of photographs that gave us our last look at the spacecraft and instrument as it was being prepared for launch on a hot summer day back in August 1997. Thanks to everyone for all their incredible support over the years and I have no doubt that this data set will continue to provide new discoveries and insights into the workings of this incredible planet that we call home.
With my very best regards,
Let it be known that for over 13 years, nearly 3 times its planned lifetime, SeaWIFS provided reliable data on oceanographic and atmospheric conditions of our planet, Earth. Rest in Peace good satellite, and may your data continue to produce publications, teach future researchers and provide inspiration. Check out SeaWIFS page on NASA for lots of great info, data and maps.