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Latest Living Planet Programme Stories

ESA's Largest Scientific Gathering Has Begun
2013-09-09 13:42:18

ESA The largest Living Planet Symposium ever held has begun. Scientists and users are gathering in Edinburgh, UK, this week to present their latest satellite findings on Earth’s environment and climate based. With over 1800 participants, it is building on the symposia held in Bergen (2010), Montreux (2007) and Salzburg (2004). At the opening plenary session on Monday morning, representatives from ESA, the UK Space Agency, the UK government, the European Commission and ESA’s Earth...

ESA To Debate Earth Explorer Satellites At March Meeting
2013-01-21 19:33:52

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online In the next few months, scientists from across Europe will be gathering together to try and choose the European Space Agency's next Earth Explorer mission. The series of Earth Explorer satellites are designed to advance science by exploring different aspects of Earth. The missions are helping scientists improve their understanding of the interactions between Earth's different components, and how human activity is affecting...

GOCE’s Second Mission To Improve Gravity Map
2012-11-16 12:22:31

ESA ESA´s GOCE gravity satellite has already delivered the most accurate gravity map of Earth, but its orbit is now being lowered in order to obtain even better results. The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) has been orbiting Earth since March 2009, reaching its ambitious objective to map our planet´s gravity with unrivalled precision. Although the planned mission has been completed, the fuel consumption was much lower than anticipated because...

Gravity Satellite Will Benefit Future Missions
2012-07-20 15:21:31

ESA´s GOCE satellite is not only mapping Earth´s gravity with unrivalled precision, but is also revealing new insight into air density and wind in space. This additional information is expected to improve the design and operation of future Earth observation missions. Most satellites orbit Earth higher than 400 km. Lower than that and atmospheric drag causes them to slow down quickly and reenter the atmosphere prematurely. This posed a problem for the designers of the GOCE...

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2010-11-27 15:25:00

As part of the procedure to realize ESA's series of Earth Explorers, two new mission proposals have been selected for further development. The missions, called FLEX and CarbonSat, now vying to be the eighth Earth Explorer, both address key climate and environmental change issues. The selection follows ESA's Call for Earth Explorer Proposals that was released in October last year and ended in the Agency receiving 31 high-quality mission concepts. Subsequently, the proposals were carefully...

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2010-11-02 14:44:00

A year ago today, ESA's SMOS satellite was launched to improve our knowledge of the water cycle. We are now not only closer to understanding more about Earth, but the novel technology employed by SMOS is clearly demonstrating a new way of monitoring Earth from space. The Earth Explorer Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite was lofted into space in the early hours of 2 November 2009 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. The next six months were spent commissioning the...

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2010-09-03 10:01:01

ESA's SMOS water mission has taken another step forward by demonstrating that it will lead to a better understanding of ocean circulation. Using preliminary data, scientists can clearly see how surface currents affect the 'Amazon plume' in the open sea. The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission has been delivering observations of 'brightness temperature' to the science community since mid-July. As a measure of radiation emitted from Earth's surface, this information can be used to...

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2010-06-30 13:05:00

Today, a focus at ESA's Living Planet Symposium is on the innovative SMOS mission, which recently became operational. Early results are proving very encouraging with its first observations due to be released in early July. ESA's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite was launched in November to gather data on moisture in the surface layers of soil and salt in the surface of the oceans. SMOS will improve our understanding of the water cycle and help advance weather and climate...

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2010-05-21 10:55:00

ESA's SMOS satellite completed its six-month commissioning this week and formally began operational life. This milestone means the mission is now set to provide much-needed global images of soil moisture and ocean salinity to improve our understanding of the water cycle. The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite was launched on 2 November last year, and has since undergone an intense program of calibration and commissioning in preparation for its life in service. At a three-day...