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Latest Living Planet Programme Stories

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2010-04-09 12:37:10

ESA has awarded a contract to Eurockot for the launch of two of its Earth observation missions. The first will be the next Earth Explorer: Swarm, a constellation of three satellites to study Earth's magnetic field. With the successful launch of the CryoSat-2 Earth Explorer less than 24 hours ago, this new contract highlights ESA's commitment to learning more about Earth from the vantage point of space. The contract covers the launch of ESA's Swarm magnetic-field mission and a 'ticket' for one...

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2010-04-01 13:10:30

In readiness for launch on April 8, ESA's CryoSat-2 ice satellite has now joined the rest of the Dnepr rocket in the launch silo at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The 'space head module' was transported from the integration facilities to the underground launch silo this morning. Although it is only 7 km between the two sites, the specialized lorry, nicknamed the 'crocodile', takes well over an hour to complete the journey. The crocodile is equipped with a container that is positioned...

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2010-03-19 10:50:00

A technical issue that delayed the February launch of the European Space Agency's (ESA) climate satellite has been fixed, the agency reports, opening the door for a new April 8 projected launch. The Earth Explorer CryoSat-2, which initially was set to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan last month before fuel reserve problems were discovered, will measure the shape and thickness of ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctic. The information gathered from the satellite should, over...

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2009-10-02 19:35:00

As part of ESA's Earth Observation Program and its continuing endeavor to address critical Earth science issues, the Agency has released an opportunity for scientists to submit proposals for the eighth Earth Explorer mission. By focusing on science and research, the Earth Explorer series of missions is being flown to improve our understanding of how the Earth system works and how human activity affects natural Earth processes. Earth Explorer missions also test cutting-edge technology for...

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2009-09-19 08:00:13

After leaving Thales Alenia Space in the south of France on September 15, ESA's SMOS Earth Explorer has arrived safely at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia, where it will be prepared for launch on November 2. The Antonov aircraft carrying the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite, along with seven containers of support equipment, arrived at Arkhangelsk early in the morning of September 16. Once unloaded from the aircraft, the precious cargo was transported by truck to the...

2009-05-28 13:15:23

The European Space Agency says its next Earth Explorer satellite is ready to be moved to the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia for its Sept. 9 launch. The satellite, called SMOS -- Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity-- will make global observations of soil moisture over Earth's landmasses and salinity over the oceans. It has been in storage at Thales Alenia Space's facilities in Cannes, France, awaiting completion of the ESA's Flight Acceptance Review -- a formal procedure that ensures all...

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2009-05-28 07:15:00

ESA's next Earth Explorer, SMOS, has just passed the all-important Flight Acceptance Review, signifying that all the elements that make up the mission are in place for launch later this year. The satellite can now be prepared for its journey to the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. The Flight Acceptance Review is a formal procedure to ensure that all the mission elements are in order and ready for launch. These elements not only include the satellite, but also the readiness of the...

2009-03-18 15:02:48

The European Space Agency has placed its first GOCE satellite into orbit, beginning what the ESA calls a new chapter in the history of Earth observation. The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer satellite was lifted into a near-sun-synchronous, low Earth orbit Tuesday by a Rockot launcher from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia. GOCE is the first of a new family of ESA satellites designed to study our planet and its environment in order to enhance our knowledge...

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2009-03-13 06:00:00

ESA is about to launch the most sophisticated of Earth Observation satellites to investigate the Earth's gravitational field with unprecedented resolution and accuracy. GOCE data will be crucial for obtaining accurate measurements of ocean circulation and sea-level change, both of which are affected by climate change. The data will help to better understand processes occurring inside the Earth which are linked to volcanoes and earthquakes. The "Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation...

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2009-02-12 08:25:00

Following word from Eurockot that launch of the Earth Explorer SMOS satellite can take place between July and October this year, ESA, CNES and the prime contractor Thales Alenia Space are now making detailed preparations for the last crucial steps before ESA's water mission is placed in orbit. The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite has been in storage at Thales Alenia Space's facilities in Cannes, France since May last year awaiting for a third stage of the Rockot launcher to...


Word of the Day
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.