Envisat is the most ambitious Earth Observation mission developed and operated by ESA. Both the satellite size (26 m x 10 m x 5 m, 8000 kg) and the number of on-board sensors are unique.
Together with its predecessors, ERS-1 and ERS-2, the Envisat mission deeply contributed to expanding our knowledge in the Earth sciences and to develop operational applications related to environmental monitoring.
The satellite carried nine sensors (as described in the table below), which allowed the mission to continue and improve upon the geophysical measurements which began with ERS-1 and ERS-2.
Envisat was operated in a 35-day repeat cycle, like ERS-2. In 2010, the orbit was modified into a 30-day cycle to further extend the mission lifetime with the objective of providing a bridge to the Copernicus Sentinel missions (Sentinel-1, Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-5P). Unfortunately a major failure occurred in April 2012, ending the Envisat mission a few weeks after celebrating its 10th anniversary of operations.
More information on Envisat can be found in the Directory of the eoPortal, which is operated by ESA.