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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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    Aeolus

    The Aeolus mission provides global observations of wind profiles from space to improve the quality of weather forecasts, and to advance our understanding of atmospheric dynamics and climate processes.

  • 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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    FLEX

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

  • Mission - Earth Explorers

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    EarthCARE

    EarthCARE will examine the role clouds and aerosols play in trapping infrared radiation emitted from Earth's surface.

  • 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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    TanSat

    The TanSat mission is one of the Earth Observation projects managed by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and is dedicated to detecting and monitoring carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

  • Mission - Third Party Missions

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    GHGSat

    The GHGSat mission is dedicated to measuring emissions of greenhouse gases.

  • 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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    GOSAT Series

    The GOSAT series is composed of two environment-monitoring satellites developed by JAXA dedicated to the observation of greenhouse gases.

  • 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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    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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    ICEYE

    The ICEYE constellation consists of 16 small and agile SAR satellites and enables all-weather Earth observation.

  • Mission - Third Party Missions

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    Aura

    NASA's Aura mission studies the chemistry and dynamics of Earth's atmosphere from the ground through the mesosphere.

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