ESA's Swarm trio on its way to watch over our planet's magnetic shield
22 November 2013
ESA's three-satellite Swarm constellation was lofted into a near-polar orbit by a Russian Rockot launcher on 22 November. For four years, it will monitor Earth's magnetic field, from the depth of our planet's core to the heights of its upper atmosphere.
The Swarm satellites will give us unprecedented insights into the complex workings of the magnetic shield that protects our biosphere from charged particles and cosmic radiation. They will perform precise measurements to evaluate its current weakening and understand how it contributes to global change.
The Rockot launcher lifted off from the Plesetsk spaceport in northern Russia at 12:02 GMT (13:02 CET) on 22 November.