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Spalte breaks up

15.9.2020 16:03   Spalte break up Image: Spalte break up

West coast wildfires

11.9.2020 15:13   Captured on 10 September 2020, this Copernicus Sentinel-3 image shows thick smoke blanketing the US west coast. Image: Captured on 10 September 2020, this Copernicus Sentinel-3 image shows thick smoke blanketing the US west coast.

Amazon River

11.9.2020 10:00   This image, captured by Copernicus Sentinel-1, shows the Amazon River meandering through one of the most vital ecosystems in the world – the Amazon rainforest in South America. Image: This image, captured by Copernicus Sentinel-1, shows the Amazon River meandering through one of the most vital ecosystems in the world – the Amazon rainforest in South America.

Earth from Space: Amazon River

11.9.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:00

This week's edition of Earth from Space features a Copernicus Sentinel-1 image of the Amazon River meandering through one of the most vital ecosystems in the world – the Amazon rainforest in South America.

See also Amazon River to download the image.

MOSAiC Arctic expedition reaches North Pole

9.9.2020 13:35   The Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition will make a major contribution to Arctic climate science.

On 19 August 2020, the world’s largest and longest polar research expedition – known as MOSAiC – reached the North Pole after making an unplanned detour owing to lighter-than-usual sea ice conditions. The expedition is now entering its final stage, during which researchers will study the last piece of the Arctic puzzle: the growth of new sea ice marking the end of the summer season.

Ice sheet melt on track with ‘worst-case climate scenario’

8.9.2020 8:40   Greenland

A recent report confirms that ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, whose mass-loss rates have been rapidly increasing, are matching the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's worst-case sea-level rise scenarios.

Ice sheet melt on track with ‘worst-case climate scenario’

8.9.2020 8:40   Greenland

A recent report confirms that ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, whose mass-loss rates have been rapidly increasing, are matching the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's worst-case sea-level rise scenarios.

Register for ESA’s Φ-Week event

7.9.2020 14:00   ESA is pleased to invite you to participate in its third edition of the Φ-Week event Image: ESA is pleased to invite you to participate in its third edition of the Φ-Week event

Next artificial intelligence mission selected

4.9.2020 12:10   Vega lifts off on its first rideshare launch dedicated to light satellites using its new Small Spacecraft Mission Service dispenser.

Following yesterday’s successful launch of ɸ-sat-1 – Europe’s first artificial intelligence Earth observation mission – plans are already underway for the next innovative state-of-the-art technology, ɸ-sat-2.

Next artificial intelligence mission selected

4.9.2020 12:10   Cloud cover over Manila Bay

Following yesterday’s successful launch of ɸ-sat-1 – Europe’s first artificial intelligence Earth observation mission – plans are already underway for the next innovative state-of-the-art technology, ɸ-sat-2.

Earth from Space: Gulf of Kutch

4.9.2020 10:00   Video: 00:02:48

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Gulf of Kutch, an inlet of the Arabian Sea, along the west coast of India.
See also Gulf of Kutch, India to upload the image.

Gulf of Kutch, India

4.9.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Gulf of Kutch, an inlet of the Arabian Sea, along the west coast of India. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Gulf of Kutch, an inlet of the Arabian Sea, along the west coast of India.

Earth from Space: Gulf of Kutch

4.9.2020 10:00   Video: 00:02:48

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Gulf of Kutch, an inlet of the Arabian Sea, along the west coast of India.

See also Gulf of Kutch, India to upload the image.

Vega return to flight proves new rideshare service

3.9.2020 6:35   Vega lifts off on its first rideshare launch dedicated to light satellites using its new Small Spacecraft Mission Service dispenser.

The first flight of Vega’s rideshare service using the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser for light satellites, launched from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 02:51 BST / 03:51 CEST on 3 September (22:51 local time on 2 September).

Vega return to flight proves new rideshare service

3.9.2020 6:35   Vega lifts off on its first rideshare launch dedicated to light satellites using its new Small Spacecraft Mission Service dispenser.

The first flight of Vega’s rideshare service using the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser for light satellites, launched from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 02:51 BST / 03:51 CEST on 3 September (22:51 local time on 2 September).

Vega lifts off

3.9.2020 4:00   Video: 00:02:03

On 2 September 2020, Vega flight VV16 lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana to deliver 53 light satellites into two separate Sun-synchronous orbits demonstrating a new dispenser called the Small Spacecraft Mission Service, or SSMS.

Vega's SSMS rideshare missions will maximise the number of satellites on each launch thus lowering the cost per ridesharing customer. The SSMS can be used for a dedicated rideshare or to fit clusters of small satellites on the launch of a large satellite.

Excellence Award competition opens

1.9.2020 12:00   ESA–EGU award

Do you know someone who is in the early stages of their career, but already deserves recognition for their innovative use of Earth observation? If so, there is now a unique opportunity to nominate them for the new ESA–EGU Earth Observation Excellence Award.

Watch Vega rideshare launch live

31.8.2020 9:00   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Tune in to ESA Web TV from 02:36 BST / 03:36 CEST on 2 September to watch the return to flight of Vega on its debut rideshare mission dedicated to light satellites.

Watch Vega rideshare launch live

31.8.2020 9:00   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: launch postponed, check here for updates

The storm track of Typhoon Maysak over South Korea – which requires that the Jeju telemetry station be protected – has led to the postponement of final preparatory operations for Vega’s Flight VV16 launch, which was scheduled for 1 September (Kourou) / 2 September (03:51 CEST).

A new launch date will be set based on the evolution of the tropical storm’s situation over the Jeju station and its consequences.

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 satellite payloads are in stable and fully safe conditions.

Watch Vega rideshare launch live

31.8.2020 9:00   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: The countdown for launch has resumed. Liftoff is scheduled for 3 September 02:51 BST / 03:51 CEST (22:51 local time in Kourou on 2 September). The weather will be monitored constantly until the precise moment of liftoff to determine whether or not to authorise the launch. 

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 satellite payloads are in stable and fully safe conditions.

Cloud-free Iceland

28.8.2020 10:00   A rare, cloud-free view of Iceland is visible in this image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission on 14 August 2020. Image: A rare, cloud-free view of Iceland is visible in this image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission on 14 August 2020.

Monitoring the Arctic heatwave

27.8.2020 12:00   Captured on 11 August by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission, this image shows Eureka in the Canadian territory of Nunavut.

Over the past months, the Arctic has experienced alarmingly high temperatures, extreme wildfires and a significant loss of sea ice. While hot summer weather is not uncommon in the Arctic, the region is warming at two to three times the global average – impacting nature and humanity on a global scale. Observations from space offer a unique opportunity to understand the changes occurring in this remote region.

Monitoring the Arctic heatwave

27.8.2020 12:00   Captured on 11 August by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission, this image shows Eureka in the Canadian territory of Nunavut.

Over the past months, the Arctic has experienced alarmingly high temperatures, extreme wildfires and a significant loss of sea ice. While hot summer weather is not uncommon in the Arctic, the region is warming at two to three times the global average – impacting nature and humanity on a global scale. Observations from space offer a unique opportunity to understand the changes occurring in this remote region.

California on fire

20.8.2020 12:35   Captured on 19 August 2020, this Copernicus Sentinel-3 image shows the extent of the smoke from fires currently ablaze in California, US. Image: Captured on 19 August 2020, this Copernicus Sentinel-3 image shows the extent of the smoke from fires currently ablaze in California, US.

Vega launch now set for 1 September

17.8.2020 17:55   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Vega will return to flight on its debut rideshare mission dedicated to light satellites with liftoff at 02:51 BST / 03:51 CEST on 2 September (22:51 local time on 1 September).

Vega launch set for 1 September

17.8.2020 17:55   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Vega will return to flight on its debut rideshare mission dedicated to light satellites with liftoff at 02:51 BST / 03:51 CEST on 2 September (22:51 local time on 1 September).

Vega launch now set for 1 September

17.8.2020 17:55   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

A new launch date of 1 September 2020 has been announced by Arianespace for Vega flight VV16.

Mauritius oil spill

11.8.2020 17:45   Satellite images are being used to monitor the oil spill off the coast of Mauritius. Image: Satellite images are being used to monitor the oil spill off the coast of Mauritius.

Europe’s next radar Sentinel unfolds

7.8.2020 9:30   Copernicus Sentinel-1C radar antenna deployed

In two years’ time, the next Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite will be launched to join its two siblings in orbit around Earth. With engineers busy building Sentinel-1C, they have recently tested the mechanism that opens its 12 m-long radar antenna.

Satellites provide crucial data on crops during COVID-19

6.8.2020 12:00   Satellites provide data on crops

Millions of people around the world face hunger every day, and unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to make the issue of food security even worse. Satellites are helping to alleviate the situation by providing crucial information to monitor crop growth and harvesting from space.

Discovering new penguin colonies from space

5.8.2020 8:00   Emperor penguins

Satellite images have revealed that there are nearly 20% more emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than previously thought. Scientists, at the British Antarctic Survey, have used satellite data from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission to track penguin guano, or penguin poo, to monitor the presence of thousands of penguins.

CryoSat taken to new heights for ice science

3.8.2020 14:23   Sea ice

Ice plays a critical role in keeping Earth’s climate cool, but our rapidly warming world is taking its toll and ice is in general decline. For more than 10 years, ESA’s CryoSat has been returning critical information on how the height of our fragile ice fields is changing. Nevertheless, to gain even better insight, ESA has spent the last two weeks nudging CryoSat into a higher orbit to synchronise it with NASA’s ICESat-2 so that scientists can benefit from simultaneous measurements from different space sensors.

SEOSAT website

3.8.2020 13:22  

SEOSAT-Ingenio

Contract signed to build Europe’s carbon dioxide monitoring mission

31.7.2020 10:56   Industrial emissions of carbon dioxide fuel our warming climate

With the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere approaching levels that humans may have never before experienced, the need to monitor sources of emissions is more urgent than ever – hence the Copernicus Carbon Dioxide Monitoring mission being one of Europe’s new high-priority satellite missions. Taking the mission a significant step forward, ESA and OHB System AG have, today, signed a contract to build the first two satellites that make up the mission.

Flinders Ranges, South Australia

31.7.2020 10:00   The many colourful curves and folds of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. Image: The many colourful curves and folds of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.

Earth from Space: Flinders Ranges, South Australia

31.7.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:00

This edition of the Earth from Space programme features a false-colour image captured by Copernicus Sentinel-2 over the many colourful curves and folds of the Flinders Ranges – the largest mountain range in South Australia.

See also Flinders Ranges, South Australia to download the image.

New Space satellite pinpoints industrial emissions of methane

29.7.2020 12:40   Methane plume from oil & gas infrastructure in the Caspian Sea region

Methane may not be as abundant in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, but with a global warming potential many times greater than carbon dioxide, monitoring and controlling industrial emissions of this potent gas is imperative to helping combat climate change. GHGSat is a New Space initiative that draws on Copernicus Sentinel-5P data for mapping methane hotspots – and its Claire satellite has now collected more than 60 000 methane measurements of industrial facilities around the world.

New Space satellite pinpoints industrial methane emissions

29.7.2020 12:40   Methane plume from oil & gas infrastructure in the Caspian Sea region

Methane may not be as abundant in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, but with a global warming potential many times greater than carbon dioxide, monitoring and controlling industrial emissions of this potent gas is imperative to helping combat climate change. GHGSat is a New Space initiative that draws on Copernicus Sentinel-5P data for mapping methane hotspots – and its Claire satellite has now collected more than 60 000 methane measurements of industrial facilities around the world.

Falkland Islands

24.7.2020 10:00   The Falkland Islands are featured in this radar image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission. Image: The Falkland Islands are featured in this radar image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission.

Earth from Space: Falkland Islands

24.7.2020 10:00   Video: 00:02:50

This week's edition of the Earth from Space programme features a radar image of the Falkland Islands, captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission.
See also Falkland Islands to download the image.

Mapping the Oaxaca earthquake from space

23.7.2020 9:30  

On the morning of 23 June 2020, a strong earthquake struck the southern state of Oaxaca, Mexico. The 7.4- magnitude earthquake prompted evacuations in the region, triggered a tsunami warning and damaged thousands of houses. Satellite radar data, from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, are being used to analyse the effects of the earthquake on land.

Sea-level charting satellite passes with flying colours

21.7.2020 16:10   Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich

Like students all over the world currently awaiting exam grades, the Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite has also been put through a series of strenuous tests leaving the eyes of the teams involved in this international mission set firmly on its final results. Happily, Sentinel-6 has passed with flying colours and engineers can now prepare it for shipment to the US for liftoff on a SpaceX Falcon-9, which is scheduled for 10 November.

Earth from Space: Utah’s Great Salt Lake

17.7.2020 10:00   Video: 00:00:00

In this week's edition of Earth from Space, we explore Utah’s Great Salt Lake and its surroundings with Copernicus Sentinel-2

See also Utah’s Great Salt Lake to download the image.

Earth from Space: Utah’s Great Salt Lake

17.7.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:30

In this week's edition of Earth from Space, we explore Utah’s Great Salt Lake and its surroundings with Copernicus Sentinel-2

See also Utah’s Great Salt Lake to download the image.

Utah's Great Salt Lake

17.7.2020 10:00   Utah’s Great Salt Lake and its surroundings are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. Image: Utah’s Great Salt Lake and its surroundings are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.

Giant A-68 iceberg three years on

10.7.2020 12:00   A-68A in open waters

The colossus iceberg that split from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf on 12 July 2017 is now in the open waters of the South Atlantic near the South Orkney Islands, about 1050 km from its birthplace. Having lost two chunks of ice, this record berg is a little less huge than it once was – and now that it is in rougher waters, it may break up further.

Earth from Space: Bay of Naples

10.7.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:01

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over the busy maritime traffic in the Bay of Naples, in southern Italy.
See also Bay of Naples, Italy to download the image.

Bay of Naples, Italy

10.7.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over the busy maritime traffic in the Bay of Naples, in southern Italy. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over the busy maritime traffic in the Bay of Naples, in southern Italy.

Satellites track unusual Saharan dust plume

9.7.2020 13:05   Aerosols from Saharan dust plume

Every summer, the wind carries large amounts of desert dust particles from the hot and dry Sahara Desert in northern Africa across the Atlantic Ocean. Data from the Copernicus Sentinel satellites and ESA’s Aeolus satellite show the extent of this year’s summer dust plume, dubbed ‘Godzilla,’ on its journey across the Atlantic.

Join the second online Global Space Economic Workshop

7.7.2020 8:30   NO2 concentrations over France

On 9 July at 9:30 BST / 10.30 CEST, join the second online Global Space Economic Workshop (GSEW) to discuss the value of Earth observation data during and after the COVID-19 crisis, how space data can help with monitoring the impacts of the pandemic and how this will assist the recovery in the post-COVID world.

Join the discussion on ESA web TV or ESA Space Economy.

Contracts awarded for development of six new Copernicus missions

3.7.2020 16:10   Copernicus Sentinels

Following the financial commitment from ESA Member States at last November’s Council at Ministerial Level Space19+, ESA’s industrial policy committee has approved contracts totalling €2.55 billion to forward the development of six new Copernicus satellite missions, each mission comprising two satellites, a development and a recurrent unit. 

Earth from Space: Ari Atoll, Maldives

3.7.2020 10:03   Video: 00:03:39

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, we explore the Maldives with Copernicus Sentinel-2.

See also Ari Atoll, Maldives to download the image.

Earth from Space: Ari Atoll, Maldives

3.7.2020 10:03   Video: 00:03:39

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, we explore the Maldives with Copernicus Sentinel-2.

See also Ari Atoll, Maldives to download the image.

Ari Atoll, Maldives

3.7.2020 10:00   The Maldives are featured in this image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. Image: The Maldives are featured in this image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.

Sulphur dioxide concentrations drop over India during COVID-19

1.7.2020 9:10  

Concentrations of sulphur dioxide in polluted areas in India have decreased by around 40% between April 2019 and April 2020. Using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, from the European Union Copernicus programme, scientists have produced new maps which show the drop in concentrations across the country in times of COVID-19.

Sulphur dioxide concentrations drop over India during COVID-19

1.7.2020 9:10  

Concentrations of sulphur dioxide in polluted areas in India have decreased by around 40% between April 2019 and April 2020. Using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, from the European Union Copernicus programme, scientists have produced new maps which show the drop in concentrations across the country in times of COVID-19.

Space App Camp 2020 goes digital

30.6.2020 14:50   Space App Camp 2020

ESA invites App developers and specialists in artificial intelligence and machine learning to apply to take part in this year’s Space App Camp, which will be held on 11–21 September. Like many events now, the App Camp will take place online. 

Space App Camp 2020 goes digital

30.6.2020 14:50   Space App Camp 2020

ESA invites App developers and specialists in artificial intelligence and machine learning to apply to take part in this year’s Space App Camp, which will be held on 11–21 September. Like many events now, the App Camp will take place online. 

Roter Kamm impact crater

30.6.2020 10:00   On Asteroid Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Roter Kamm impact crater in Namibia. Image: On Asteroid Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Roter Kamm impact crater in Namibia.

Roter Kamm impact crater

30.6.2020 10:00   On Asteroid Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Roter Kamm impact crater in Namibia. Image: On Asteroid Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Roter Kamm impact crater in Namibia.

Earth from Space: Peruvian Andes

26.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:47

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Andes mountains, in southern Peru, are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission

See also Peruvian Andes to download the image.

Earth from Space: Peruvian Andes

26.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:47

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Andes mountains, in southern Peru, are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission

See also Peruvian Andes to download the image.

Peruvian Andes

26.6.2020 10:00   The Andes mountains, in southern Peru, are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. Image: The Andes mountains, in southern Peru, are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.

Peruvian Andes

26.6.2020 10:00   The Andes mountains, in southern Peru, are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. Image: The Andes mountains, in southern Peru, are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.

Take part in citizen science for food security

26.6.2020 9:00   Citizen science to help food security

The International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) and ESA, in partnership with the Wilson Center, the Earth Day Network and the US State Department, are giving citizens the opportunity to get involved in one of the world’s most challenging problems: ensuring a nutritious food supply to meet the needs of the growing global population.

Take part in citizen science for food security

26.6.2020 9:00   Citizen science to help food security

The International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) and ESA, in partnership with the Wilson Center, the Earth Day Network and the US State Department, are giving citizens the opportunity to get involved in one of the world’s most challenging problems: ensuring a nutritious food supply to meet the needs of the growing global population.

Space agencies join forces to produce global view of COVID-19 impacts

25.6.2020 14:00   COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard

In an unprecedented collaboration, ESA, NASA and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) have created a new tool that combines a wealth of data from Earth-observing satellites to monitor the worldwide impacts of COVID-19. This new online platform is now available to the public.

Space agencies join forces to produce global view of COVID-19 impacts

25.6.2020 14:00   COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard

In an unprecedented collaboration, ESA, NASA and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) have created a new tool that combines a wealth of data from Earth-observing satellites to monitor the worldwide impacts of COVID-19. This new online platform is now available to the public.

SMOS monitoring droughts

23.6.2020 16:19   Video: 00:03:00

In orbit for more than a decade, ESA’s Earth Explorer satellite SMOS has not only exceeded its planned lifespan, but also surpassed its original scientific goals. Built to demonstrate new technology in space and address gaps in our scientific understanding of how Earth works as a system, this remarkable mission is now also being used for a number of practical applications. With drought seemingly more commonplace, entrepreneurs are using information on soil moisture from SMOS and data from other satellites to generate commercial data products for the insurance market, ultimately bringing benefits to farmers.

This video includes interviews of :

Klaus Scipal: SMOS Mission Manager, ESA, Soundbites in English & German

Thijs van Leeuwen: CEO of VanderSat – Soundbites in English & Dutch

Marcel Andriesse: Senior underwriter agri-culture Swiss Re -  Soundbites in English & Dutch

More information

Earth from Space: Great Rift Valley, Kenya

19.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:00:00

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya.

See also Great Rift Valley, Kenya to download the image.

Great Rift Valley, Kenya

19.6.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya.

Earth from Space: Great Rift Valley, Kenya

19.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:00:00

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya.

See also Great Rift Valley, Kenya to download the image.

Great Rift Valley, Kenya

19.6.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya.

Call for Media: ESA, NASA and JAXA to unveil COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard

18.6.2020 14:50  

Press Release N° 10–2020

ESA, NASA and JAXA invite the general public and media representatives to participate in an online media conference on Thursday, 25 June, at 09:00 EDT (15:00 CEST) where they will present a new dashboard that uses Earth observation data to show the impacts of COVID-19. This new platform will combine data, technical knowledge and expertise of the three space agencies to strengthen our global understanding of the environmental and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call for Media: ESA, NASA and JAXA to unveil COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard

18.6.2020 14:50  

Press Release N° 10–2020

ESA, NASA and JAXA invite the general public and media representatives to participate in an online media conference on Thursday, 25 June, at 09:00 EDT (15:00 CEST) where they will present a new dashboard that uses Earth observation data to show the impacts of COVID-19. This new platform will combine data, technical knowledge and expertise of the three space agencies to strengthen our global understanding of the environmental and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vega launch postponed until 17 August

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

A new launch date of 17 August 2020 has been announced by Arianespace for Vega flight VV16.

Tonight! Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: Tune in tonight to ESA Web TV to watch the return to flight of Vega on its debut rideshare mission dedicated to light satellites.

Today’s predicted meteorological conditions over Europe's Spaceport enable the consideration of resuming chronological operations for the Vega Flight VV16 launch. Subject to confirmation of favourable conditions, the new targeted liftoff is Sunday, 28 June at 02:51 BST / 03:51 CEST (22:51 on 27 June Kourou local time).

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads are in stable and safe conditions.

Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Updated: Subject to favourable weather conditions, the soonest possible launch date for the SSMS proof-of-concept flight is Sunday 21 June from 02:36 BST / 03:36 CEST (20 June at 22:51 local time in Kourou). 

Please check here for updates.

Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: Tune in tonight to ESA Web TV to watch the return to flight of Vega on its debut rideshare mission dedicated to light satellites.

Today’s predicted meteorological conditions over Europe's Spaceport enable the consideration of resuming chronological operations for the Vega Flight VV16 launch. Subject to confirmation of favourable conditions, the new targeted liftoff is Sunday, 28 June at 02:51 BST / 03:51 CEST (22:51 on 27 June Kourou local time).

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads are in stable and safe conditions.

Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: As high-altitude winds above Europe's Spaceport remain unfavourable, Arianespace has taken the decision not to initiate the final chronology operations for Flight VV16 on Sunday 20 June (19 June in Kourou).

A new target date will be announced as soon as possible, based on the evolution of weather conditions.

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads are in stable and safe conditions.

Please check here for updates.

Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: Arianespace has taken the decision to initiate the final chronology operations for flight VV16 on Sunday, 29 June at 02:51 BST / 03:51 CEST (22:51 on 28 June Kourou local time). This is subject to a favourable evolution of the weather conditions.

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads are in stable and safe conditions.

Tune in to ESA Web TV to watch the return to flight of Vega on its debut rideshare mission dedicated to light satellites.

Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: Arianespace has taken the decision to initiate the final chronology operations for flight VV16 on Monday, 29 June at 02:51 BST / 03:51 CEST (22:51 on 28 June Kourou local time). This is subject to a favourable evolution of the weather conditions.

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads are in stable and safe conditions.

Tune in to ESA Web TV to watch the return to flight of Vega on its debut rideshare mission dedicated to light satellites.

Vega launch postponed

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: Arianespace has decided to postpone Vega flight VV16 due to unfavourable weather. A new launch date is to be announced. More information will be available soon.

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads remain stable and in total safety.

Vega launch postponed

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: Arianespace has decided to postpone Vega flight VV16 due to unfavourable weather. A new launch date is to be announced. More information will be available soon.

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads remain stable and in total safety.

Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Updated: New launch date due to unfavourable weather at altitude above Europe's Spaceport. 

Tune in to ESA Web TV on Sunday 21 June from 02:36 BST / 03:36 CEST to watch the return to flight of Vega on its debut rideshare mission dedicated to light satellites.

Vega will lift off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana carrying 53 satellites on its new dispenser called the Small Spacecraft Mission Service, or SSMS.

SMOS monitoring droughts

17.6.2020 16:19   Video: 00:03:00

In orbit for more than a decade, ESA’s Earth Explorer satellite SMOS has not only exceeded its planned lifespan, but also surpassed its original scientific goals. Built to demonstrate new technology in space and address gaps in our scientific understanding of how Earth works as a system, this remarkable mission is now also being used for a number of practical applications. With drought seemingly more commonplace, entrepreneurs are using information on soil moisture from SMOS and data from other satellites to generate commercial data products for the insurance market, ultimately bringing benefits to farmers.

This video includes interviews of :

Klaus Scipal: SMOS Mission Manager, ESA, Soundbites in English & German

Thijs van Leeuwen: CEO of VanderSat – Soundbites in English & Dutch

Marcel Andriesse: Senior underwriter agri-culture Swiss Re -  Soundbites in English & Dutch

More information

FSSCat/Ф-sat-1 ready for launch

16.6.2020 9:35   Φ-sat

The first artificial intelligence to be carried onboard a European Earth observation mission will be launched this week from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The pioneering artificial intelligence technology named ɸ-sat-1, pronounced PhiSat-1, will be the first experiment to improve the efficiency of sending vast quantities of data back to Earth.

SEOSAT-Ingenio ready for shipment to Kourou

15.6.2020 11:20   SEOSAT-Ingenio ready for shipment

The Spanish high-resolution land imaging mission, known as SEOSAT-Ingenio, is currently at the premises of Airbus in Madrid, Spain and is ready to be packed and shipped to Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana – following the mission’s latest successful tests and final technical review. This is another significant milestone in preparing the Earth observation satellite’s ride into orbit on a Vega rocket.

Barcelona, Spain

12.6.2020 10:00   Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Barcelona – the second largest city in Spain.

On the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Barcelona occupies a low plateau along the Mediterranean coastal plain. The city and its red roofs contrast with the forested hills and the sea that surround it.

The famous Avinguda Diagonal avenue can be seen in the right of the image. The road is one of Barcelona’s broadest avenues and cuts the city diagonally in two, hence its name. The circular Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes  was meant to be the city centre in the original urban plan, but nowadays is used largely as a roundabout.

Dominating the left side of the image are the Garraf Massif mountains, their cliffs reaching the Mediterranean coast. Its highest point on the coastal side is La Morella – almost 600 m above sea level.

The Llobregat River can be seen entering the image in the top left. The river rises in the eastern Pyrenees and flows southeast before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. Before reaching the sea, the river forms a small delta, which used to provide a large extension of fertile land but is now largely urbanised. Barcelona-El Prat airport can be seen to the left of the river. Along the coast, the port of Barcelona, one of Europe’s top ten largest container ports, is visible.

Barcelona is home to the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – the largest engineering university in Catalonia. In 2017, the university won ESA’s Small Satellite Challenge and the top prize at the Copernicus Masters competition with its Federated Satellite Systems (FSSCat) project. The FSSCat mission consists of two small CubeSat satellites, each about the size of a shoebox, and will use state-of-the-art dual microwave and multispectral optical sensors.

Ф-sat-1 – an enhancement of FSSCat carried on one of the two CubeSats – is set to launch soon from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou. It will be the first experiment to demonstrate how artificial intelligence can be used for Earth observation. Ф-sat-1 will have the ability to filter out less than perfect images so that only usable data are returned to Earth. This will allow for the efficient handling of data so that users will have access to timely information – ultimately benefiting society at large.

Ф-sat-1 will acquire an enormous number of images that will allow scientists to detect urban heat islands, monitor changes in vegetation and water quality, as well as carry out experiments on the role of evapotranspiration in climate change.

This image, which was captured on 16 March 2017, is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Earth from Space: Barcelona

12.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:22

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain.

See also Barcelona, Spain to download the image

Earth from Space: Barcelona

12.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:22

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain.

See also Barcelona, Spain to download the image

Barcelona, Spain

12.6.2020 10:00   Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Barcelona – the second largest city in Spain.

On the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Barcelona occupies a low plateau along the Mediterranean coastal plain. The city and its red roofs contrast with the forested hills and the sea that surround it.

The famous Avinguda Diagonal avenue can be seen in the right of the image. The road is one of Barcelona’s broadest avenues and cuts the city diagonally in two, hence its name. The circular Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes  was meant to be the city centre in the original urban plan, but nowadays is used largely as a roundabout.

Dominating the left side of the image are the Garraf Massif mountains, their cliffs reaching the Mediterranean coast. Its highest point on the coastal side is La Morella – almost 600 m above sea level.

The Llobregat River can be seen entering the image in the top left. The river rises in the eastern Pyrenees and flows southeast before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. Before reaching the sea, the river forms a small delta, which used to provide a large extension of fertile land but is now largely urbanised. Barcelona-El Prat airport can be seen to the left of the river. Along the coast, the port of Barcelona, one of Europe’s top ten largest container ports, is visible.

Barcelona is home to the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – the largest engineering university in Catalonia. In 2017, the university won ESA’s Small Satellite Challenge and the top prize at the Copernicus Masters competition with its Federated Satellite Systems (FSSCat) project. The FSSCat mission consists of two small CubeSat satellites, each about the size of a shoebox, and will use state-of-the-art dual microwave and multispectral optical sensors.

Ф-sat-1 – an enhancement of FSSCat carried on one of the two CubeSats – is set to launch soon from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou. It will be the first experiment to demonstrate how artificial intelligence can be used for Earth observation. Ф-sat-1 will have the ability to filter out less than perfect images so that only usable data are returned to Earth. This will allow for the efficient handling of data so that users will have access to timely information – ultimately benefiting society at large.

Ф-sat-1 will acquire an enormous number of images that will allow scientists to detect urban heat islands, monitor changes in vegetation and water quality, as well as carry out experiments on the role of evapotranspiration in climate change.

This image, which was captured on 16 March 2017, is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Global air pollution maps now available

11.6.2020 12:30   A new online platform that allows for the tracking of air pollution worldwide is now available to the public. Image: A new online platform that allows for the tracking of air pollution worldwide is now available to the public.

Global air pollution maps now available

11.6.2020 12:30   A new online platform that allows for the tracking of air pollution worldwide is now available to the public. Image: A new online platform that allows for the tracking of air pollution worldwide is now available to the public.

Parking in a pandemic

9.6.2020 8:35  

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the tourism and travel industry to a near-standstill, with nationwide lockdowns significantly impacting the aviation and maritime industry worldwide. Satellite images, captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, show parked aircraft and anchored vessels in times of COVID-19.

Safeguarding our oceans

8.6.2020 13:30   This image, captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission, takes us over the green algae blooms swirling around the Baltic Sea. Image: This image, captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission, takes us over the green algae blooms swirling around the Baltic Sea.

RACE dashboard now available

5.6.2020 12:05   Rapid Action on COVID-19 and Earth observation

The coronavirus pandemic constitutes an unprecedented challenge with severe societal and socio-economic consequences. In order to shed new light on these changes taking place, ESA and the European Commission have worked closely together to create the ‘Rapid Action Coronavirus Earth observation’ dashboard – also known as RACE. The platform, which was unveiled today during an online event, uses Earth observation satellite data to measure the impact of the coronavirus lockdown and monitor post-lockdown recovery.

RACE dashboard now available

5.6.2020 12:05   Rapid Action on COVID-19 and Earth observation

The coronavirus pandemic constitutes an unprecedented challenge with severe societal and socio-economic consequences. In order to shed new light on these changes taking place, ESA and the European Commission have worked closely together to create the ‘Rapid Action Coronavirus Earth observation’ dashboard – also known as RACE. The platform, which was unveiled today during an online event, uses Earth observation satellite data to measure the impact of the coronavirus lockdown and monitor post-lockdown recovery.

Colourful Queensland, Australia

5.6.2020 10:00   This image, captured by Copernicus Sentinel-2, takes us over part of Channel Country – a pastural region located mostly in southwest Queensland, Australia. Image: This image, captured by Copernicus Sentinel-2, takes us over part of Channel Country – a pastural region located mostly in southwest Queensland, Australia.

Earth from Space: Colourful Queensland

5.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:02

This week's edition of the Earth from Space programme features a Copernicus Sentinel-2 image over part of Channel Country – a pastural region located mostly in southwest Queensland, Australia.

See also Colourful Queensland, Australia to download the image.

Earth from Space: Colourful Queensland

5.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:02

This week's edition of the Earth from Space programme features a Copernicus Sentinel-2 image over part of Channel Country – a pastoral region located mostly in southwest Queensland, Australia.

See also Colourful Queensland, Australia to download the image.

Arctic Circle oil spill

5.6.2020 8:55   Images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission show the extent of the Arctic Circle oil spill Image: Images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission show the extent of the Arctic Circle oil spill

Watch live

4.6.2020 14:20   RACE dashboard

Watch live

Join the event on 5 June at 11:00 CEST, where ESA and the European Commission will present their new dashboard: Rapid action in response to coronavirus with Earth observation

Detecting methane emissions during COVID-19

1.6.2020 14:35   Methane concentrations over the Permian Basin

While carbon dioxide is more abundant in the atmosphere and therefore more commonly associated with global warming, methane is around 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas. Given its importance, Canadian company GHGSat have worked in collaboration with the Sentinel-5P team at SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research to investigate hotspots of methane emissions during COVID-19.

Meet the Experts: Ocean views from space

29.5.2020 18:00   Video: 00:06:05

Earth observation satellites are guardians of our planet. Thanks to remote sensing technology and daily data collection, researchers are able to better monitor our planet's oceans and rising sea levels from space. ESA senior advisor for Earth Observation programmes Jérôme Beneviste explains how ocean views from space play a role in climate change studies and natural catastrophe predictions.

Call for Media: Rapid action in response to coronavirus with Earth observation

29.5.2020 14:00  

Press Release N° 9–2020

ESA and the European Commission invite media representatives to follow an online event on 5 June at 11:00 CEST where they will present the ‘Rapid Action Coronavirus Earth observation’ dashboard, also known as RACE. The RACE platform provides access to key environmental, economic and social indicators to measure the impact of the coronavirus lockdown and monitor post-lockdown recovery.

Earth from Space: Abu Dhabi

29.5.2020 10:00   Video: 00:02:53

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Abu Dhabi – one of the seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

See also Abu Dhabi to download the image.

Abu Dhabi

29.5.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Abu Dhabi – one of the seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Abu Dhabi – one of the seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Ice jam flooding in Fort McMurray

28.5.2020 11:15   This false-colour image captured by Copernicus Sentinel-2 shows the extent of an ice jam on the Athabasca River in Canada - leading to the flooding of Fort McMurray. Image: This false-colour image captured by Copernicus Sentinel-2 shows the extent of an ice jam on the Athabasca River in Canada - leading to the flooding of Fort McMurray.

Calling for ideas for next Earth Explorer

25.5.2020 12:20   Towards Earth Explorer 11

As part of ESA’s continuing commitment to realise cutting-edge satellite missions to advance the scientific understanding of our planet and to show how new technologies can be used in space, a new Call for Earth Explorer mission ideas has been released today.

Earth from Space: Atacama minerals

22.5.2020 10:00   Video: 00:02:46

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Chile's Atacama Desert, considered one of the driest places on Earth.

See also Atacama minerals to download the image.

Snow mass estimates now more reliable

21.5.2020 15:35  

Estimating the amount of seasonal snow is important for understanding the water cycle and Earth’s climate system, but establishing a clear and coherent picture of change has proven difficult. New research from ESA’s Climate Change Initiative has helped to produce the first reliable estimate of snow mass change and has helped to identify different continental trends.

Atacama minerals

21.5.2020 10:15   The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Chile's Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Chile's Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth.

Swarm probes weakening of Earth’s magnetic field

20.5.2020 13:10  

In an area stretching from Africa to South America, Earth’s magnetic field is gradually weakening. This strange behaviour has geophysicists puzzled and is causing technical disturbances in satellites orbiting Earth. Scientists are using data from ESA’s Swarm constellation to improve our understanding of this area known as the ‘South Atlantic Anomaly.’

A sustainable future

19.5.2020 11:00   Video: 00:04:00

With the Covid-19 pandemic halting our daily lives and forcing many countries and region into lockdown, the economic effects have been devastating. Closed borders have caused traffic jams and disrupted supply chains. In Europe, for example, the agriculture industry has suffered. Normally the industry relies on migrant labour to harvest crops, but as the lockdown continues, crops remain unpicked – putting farmers and the food supply under pressure. How can the food supply chain more sustainable?

This video includes an interview with Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes.

Czech Republic drought visible from space

18.5.2020 9:30   Soil moisture conditions from 10 April to 10 May 2020

The prolonged period of dry weather in the Czech Republic has resulted in what experts are calling the ‘worst drought in 500 years.’ Scientists are using ESA satellite data to monitor the drought that’s gripped the country.

Czech Republic drought visible from space

18.5.2020 9:30  

The prolonged period of dry weather in the Czech Republic has resulted in what experts are calling the ‘worst drought in 500 years.’ Scientists are using ESA satellite data to monitor the drought that’s gripped the country.

Czech Republic drought visible from space

18.5.2020 9:30   Soil moisture conditions from 10 April to 10 May 2020

The prolonged period of dry weather in the Czech Republic has resulted in what experts are calling the ‘worst drought in 500 years.’ Scientists are using ESA satellite data to monitor the drought that’s gripped the country.

Seen from space: COVID-19 and the environment

15.5.2020 17:12   Video: 00:04:00

As the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives across the globe, Earth-observing satellites take the pulse of our planet from space. While the global lockdown has had a massive impact on daily life and the economy, there have been environmental benefits that are visible from space. How can we preserve these positives when returning to ‘business as usual’?

This video includes an interview in English with Josef Aschbacher, Director of Earth Observation Programmes.

Earth from Space: San Francisco Bay

15.5.2020 10:00   Video: 00:00:00

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over San Francisco Bay in the US state of California. 

See also San Francisco Bay to download the image. 

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