An improved Earth geopotential model, complete to spherical harmonic degree and order 70, has been determined by combining the Joint Gravity Model 1 (JGM 1) geopotential coefficients, and their associated error covariance, with new information from SLR, DORIS, and GPS tracking of TOPEX/Poseidon, laser tracking of LAGEOS 1, LAGEOS 2, and Stella, and additional DORIS tracking of SPOT 2. The resulting field, JGM 3, which has been adopted for the TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter data rerelease, yields improved orbit accuracies as demonstrated by better fits to withheld tracking data and substantially reduced geographically correlated orbit error. Methods for analyzing the performance of the gravity field using high‐precision tracking station positioning were applied. Geodetic results, including station coordinates and Earth orientation parameters, are significantly improved with the JGM 3 model. Sea surface topography solutions from TOPEX/Poseidon altimetry indicate that the ocean geoid has been improved. Subset solutions performed by withholding either the GPS data or the SLR/DORIS data were computed to demonstrate the effect of these particular data sets on the gravity model used for TOPEX/Poseidon orbit determination.