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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 otheragencies through the Third Party Missions programme.

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  • Mission - Third Party Missions

    Mission - Third Party Missions

    Spire

    Spire Global's constellation of Lemur nanosatellites is designed, built, and operated by the company.

  • Mission - Earth Explorers

    Mission - Earth Explorers

    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

    Mission - Earth Explorers

    SMOS Objectives

    SMOS Science The SMOS mission is a direct response to the current lack of global observations of soil moisture and ocean salinity which ...

  • Mission - Earth Explorers

    Mission - Earth Explorers

    SMOS Overview

    Mission Background The SMOS mission is a direct response to the current lack of global observations of soil moisture and ocean salinity,...

  • Mission - Third Party Missions

    Mission - Third Party Missions

    Spire Overview

    Mission background Spire Global is a data and analytics company that collects data from space to solve problems on Earth. They identify, track, and predict the movement of the world's resources and weather systems by "listening" to the planet in real-time and applying machine learning to understand what will happen in the future. Spire Global's constellation of over 90+ nanosatellites is designed, built, and operated by Spire out of Glasgow, UK and its European headquarters in Luxembourg. With a diversified launch manifest and the capacity to build up to two satellites per week, Spire's constellation continues to grow. The company continues to launch additional satellites and add new payloads to the constellation; the first launch took place on 3 August 2013. Satellite design Spire Global exclusively use the nanosatellite form factor. Spire is on the 21st design iteration of the satellite, aided by on-orbit operational performance and feedback, which gives consistency and reliability of performance. The satellites are three-axis stabilised and do not use thrusters. The satellites are flexible platforms built to operate a variety of in-house or hosted payloads. It currently commercialises its platform on a “Space-as-a-Service” offering with aerospace and defence customers. Spire uses minimally adapted COTS electronics to reduce cost. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS Mass 4.6 kg Dimensions 10 cm x 10 cm x 30 cm Design lifetime 2 years Mission Operations The satellites are placed in low-Earth orbit (generally around 500km so that they naturally de-orbit) at various inclinations, including equatorial, sun-synchronous and inclinations in between, which gives global coverage and the ability to listen to every spot on Earth more than 100 times per day. They are scheduled to be retired and replaced every two to three years. The Spire’s own global ground station network provides timely data that is processed by Spire to produce high-value information products and made available through their customer API.