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Earth Explorers

ESA's Earth Explorer missions are dedicated to addressing key scientific challenges identified by the EO community. Each mission employs the latest technological developments to observe different EO fields.

What are Earth Explorers?

The Earth Explorers programme consists of a series of satellites that share the common goal of advancing Earth science by helping answer principle scientific questions through observation of Earth’s key systems.

The Earth Explorers are each dedicated to observing a different aspect of Earth’s system, such as the Cryosphere, Hydrosphere, Atmosphere and Ionosphere as well as the Earth’s interior. The overarching objective of these missions is to understand the Earth as a geosphere and the complex interactions between spheres and sub-spheres.

Interact with 3D models of ESA satellites, which visualise their design and payload, and see case studies highlighting data applications.


Current missions from the programme include Aeolus, CryoSat, SMOS and Swarm. The Earth Explorer family will continue to grow in the future through the addition of new missions such as EarthCARE, Biomass and FLEX.

Earth Explorer Missions infographic

Meet the Mission Managers

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