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MISSIONS

Explore the European Space Agency's Earth Observation satellite missions. Learn all about ESA's dedicated Earth Explorers or collaborations with other agencies through the Third Party Missions programme.

  • Mission - Earth Explorers

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    Swarm

    Swarm is dedicated to creating a highly detailed survey of the Earth’s geomagnetic field and its temporal evolution as well as the electric field in the atmosphere using a constellation of three identical satellites.

  • Mission - Earth Explorers

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    CryoSat

    CryoSat determines variations in the thickness of continental ice sheets and marine ice cover. Europe's first ice mission is an advanced radar altimeter specifically designed to monitor the most dynamic sections of Earth's cryosphere.

  • Mission - Earth Explorers

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    SMOS

    The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission is dedicated to making global observations of soil moisture over land and salinity over oceans.

  • Mission - Earth Explorers

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    Biomass

    The objective of the Biomass mission is to determine the global distribution of forest biomass.

  • Mission - Earth Explorers

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    FLEX

    The FLEX mission will provide global maps of vegetation fluorescence, which can be converted into an indicator of photosynthetic activity.

  • Mission - Third Party Missions

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    PROBA-1

    PROBA-1 is a technology demonstration satellite that later became an operational Earth observation mission.

  • Mission - Earth Explorers

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    GOCE

    ESA's Gravity field and Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) mission mapped Earth's geoid very accurately, opening a window into Earth's interior structure as well as the currents circulating within the depths of its oceans. 

  • Mission - Heritage Missions

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    Envisat

    Envisat was ESA's successor to ERS. Envisat carried ten instruments aboard for a wide range of Earth observing fields. The mission was operational from 2002 to 2012.

  • Mission - Heritage Missions

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    ERS

    The ERS programme was composed of two missions, ERS-1 and ERS-2, which together observed the Earth for 20 years, from 1991 to 2011.

  • Mission - Third Party Missions

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    SAOCOM

    The SAOCOM (SAtélite Argentino de Observación COn Microondas) satellite series represents Argentina's approved polarimetric L-band SAR constellation of two spacecraft. It's objective is to provide an effective Earth observation and disaster monitoring capability.

  • Mission - Third Party Missions

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    COSMO-SkyMed Series

    COSMO-SkyMed (COnstellation of small Satellites for the Mediterranean basin Observation) Series aims to provide global Earth observation that can be repeated several times a day in all-weather conditions.

  • Mission - Third Party Missions

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    COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation

    COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation is at the forefront of radar technology, will ensure improvements and guarantee continuity with the First Generation CSK satellites, preserving the high quality and the highest precision features, both required for the interferometric activities.

  • Mission - Copernicus Sentinels

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    Copernicus Sentinel-3

    Copernicus Sentinel-3 is an European Earth Observation satellite mission developed to support Copernicus ocean, land, atmospheric, emergency, security and cryospheric applications.

  • Mission - Copernicus Sentinels

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    Copernicus Sentinel-1

    The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission comprises a constellation of two polar-orbiting satellites, operating day and night performing C-band synthetic aperture radar imaging, enabling them to acquire imagery regardless of the weather.

  • Mission - Third Party Missions

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    PAZ

    The PAZ (Spanish for “peace”) satellite, operates as a constellation alongside TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X.

  • Mission - Third Party Missions

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    TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X

    The TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites feature a unique geometric accuracy that is unmatched by any other spaceborne sensor.

  • Mission - Third Party Missions

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    Landsat-4 and Landsat-5

    The Landsat-4 and Landsat-5 missions continued the Landsat programme's goal of providing moderate-resolution optical remote sensing for land, coastal areas and shallow waters.

  • Mission - Third Party Missions

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    RADARSAT

    The RADARSAT programme consists of a pair of remote sensing satellites from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

  • Mission - Third Party Missions

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    NOAA POES

    NOAA's AVHRR sensor is carried on the POES mission, a constellation of polar orbiting weather satellites.

  • Mission - Third Party Missions

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    Landsat-1 to Landsat-3

    The Landsat-1 to 3 satellites were the first in the United States' Landsat programme, dedicated to monitoring the Earth's land mass.

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