Latest Mission Science Division Stories

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...

2009-05-05 13:31:02

With ESA's family of Earth observation missions expanding, it makes sense to share operations engineers across satellites and conduct mission control from a combined Dedicated Control Room. The move is increasing efficiency, enhancing effectiveness and generating improved economic returns. Flight control teams operating Envisat and ERS-2 have long worked out of a combined Earth Observation (EO) Dedicated Control Room (DCR) at ESOC, the European Space Operations Centre, enabling spacecraft...

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...

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...

2009-03-02 13:28:36

ESA has announced three candidate Earth Explorer mission concepts to progress to the next phase of consolidation. This selection is part of the user-driven process that will lead to the launch of the Agency's seventh Earth Explorer satellite in the 2016 time frame. Last week ESA's Programme Board for Earth Observation decided on three Earth Explorer missions that will undergo Feasibility Studies. The decision was based on recommendations made by ESA's Earth Science Advisory Committee (ESAC)...

2009-01-16 07:50:00

With three Earth Explorer satellites set to launch this year, another three under construction and up to three more about to be selected for feasibility study, 2009 promises to be a significant year for ESA's contribution to Earth science "“ paving the way to a clearer understanding of how our planet works. Understanding how the Earth works and the way in which natural processes respond to global climate change is a major challenge facing science today. Encompassing a new approach...

2008-12-02 09:10:00

The Arctic is undergoing rapid transformation due to climate change, pollution and human activity. ESA's ERS and Envisat satellites have been providing satellite data of the region for the last 17 years. These long term data sets in combination with ESA's future missions will be key in implementing the newly adopted European Commission policy called 'The European Union and the Arctic Region'. The policy highlights new opportunities in the region such as the opening up of long-sought...

2008-11-20 09:54:41

ESA has launched a new initiative "“ the Changing Earth Science Network "“ to support young scientists undertaking leading-edge research activities aimed at advancing our understanding of the Earth System. Although the Earth has undergone significant changes in the past, there is mounting evidence that the changes imposed, mostly by human activity, during the last 150 years cannot be compared with any previous change. Realizing the importance of further understanding our planet...

2008-08-25 12:00:18

The European Space Agency says it is about to launch its most sophisticated mission ever to investigate the Earth's gravitational field. The ESA said its "Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation explorer," or GOCE, will map the reference shape of the planet -- the geoid -- with unprecedented resolution and accuracy. The satellite is to be launched into a low altitude, near-sun synchronous orbit Sept. 10 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia, about 500 miles north of Moscow....

2008-08-22 09:05:00

The European Space Agency is about to launch the most sophisticated mission ever to investigate the Earth's gravitational field and to map the reference shape of our planet "“ the geoid - with unprecedented resolution and accuracy. The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) will be placed onto a low altitude near sun-synchronous orbit by a Russian Rockot vehicle launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Northern Russia, some 800 km north of Moscow. Lift-off...

Word of the Day
  • A style of popular dance music originating along the border between Texas and Mexico, characterized by the use of accordion, drums, and 12-string bass guitar and traditionally based on polka, waltz, and bolero rhythms.
The word 'conjunto' comes through Spanish, from Latin coniūnctus, past participle of coniungere, to join together; see conjoin