The incredible saga of satellite oceanography Fellous J.-L. (1), Kostianoy A.G. (2) (1) COSPAR, Paris, France (2) P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Moscow, Russia The report reviews the past thirty years of incredibly successful series of satellite missions devoted to ocean observation, and describe some highlights of the most significant achievements, covering the various ocean Essential Climate Variables now accessible to space-based measurements. Beyond the historical aspects the paper will propose an analysis of some of the main reasons that explain this astounding success, which has paved the way to the operational monitoring and forecasting of the global ocean. It will provide an overview of the ocean-observing satellite missions planned for the coming decades, which hold the promise of many new discoveries and more generally, a better in-depth understanding of the role of the ocean in the Earth system. The research was supported by the Russian Science Foundation under the project N 14-17-00555.