Classification: Orbiter spacecraft.
Mission: Global view of Earth's oceans.
Features: Topex/Poseidon is a joint project between NASA and Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) launched in mid 1992 aboard an Ariane 4. The spacecraft occupies a 1336-km-high Earth orbit inclined 66 degrees. Revealing minute differences in the oceans' heights, Topex/Poseidon's data has lead to improved understanding of oceanic circulation and forecasting of global environment. One of its best-known results has been the improved understanding of Earth's El Niño climate phenomenon.
Stabilization: Three-axis stabilized via reaction wheels and thrusters.