Wind mission ready for next phase
24 August 2018
Having worked around the clock since the launch of Aeolus on Wednesday, teams at ESA's control centre in Germany have declared today that the critical first phase for Europe's wind mission is complete.
The Aeolus satellite was launched on a Vega rocket in the evening of 22 August from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. With a launch mass of 1360 kg, including 266 kg of fuel, Aeolus will be the first-ever satellite to directly measure Earth's winds from space.
Carrying one of the most sensitive instruments ever put into orbit - Aladin, a Doppler wind lidar - Aeolus will provide vital information on wind speeds around the globe. This information is expected to improve weather forecasting as wind plays a complex and pivotal role in global weather systems.