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Ocean satellite dies after 11½-year mission

Friday - 7/5/2013, 12:46pm  ET

FILE -This undated artist's rendering shows the Jason-1 satellite. The U.S.-French science satellite that tracked rising sea levels for more than a decade and helped forecasters make better weather predictions worldwide has gone dark. NASA announced Wednesday July 3, 2013 that it has decommissioned Jason-1 after its last remaining transmitter failed. It will run out of battery power within 90 days but remain in a graveyard orbit for about 1,000 years before falling back to Earth. (AP Photos/NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratories,File)

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Jason-1, a satellite that for more than a decade precisely tracked rising sea levels across a vast sweep of ocean and helped forecasters make better weather and climate predictions, has ended its useful life after circling the globe more than 53,500 times, NASA announced Wednesday.

The joint U.S. and French satellite was decommissioned this week after its last remaining transmitter failed, according to a NASA statement.

Launched on Dec. 7, 2001, Jason-1 was designed to have a lifespan of three to five years but it lasted for 11
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