European Space Agency member states on Thursday committed nearly 12.5 billion euros ($13.8 billion) to fund ESA programs over the next three years, promising money to grow Europe’s fleet of satellites studying Earth’s changing climate, contribute to NASA-led lunar exploration efforts, and continue ESA’s participation in the International Space Station until 2030.
ICEYE, a Finnish company that builds and operates a growing fleet of commercial Earth-observing spacecraft, has released the first radar image from a microsatellite with a resolution of less than 1 meter, showcasing advances in tech miniaturization that could aid environmental monitoring, military surveillance, and the exploration of other planets.
A European environmental satellite designed to monitor Earth’s oceans, lakes and vegetation lifted off Wednesday aboard a modified Russian ballistic missile originally built to carry nuclear warheads. The mission launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome around 500 miles north of Moscow at 1757:51 GMT (1:57:51 p.m. EDT).
Josef Aschbacher, head of ESA’s Earth observation programs, recently spoke with Spaceflight Now about the importance of the Sentinel 5P satellite mission designed for air quality measurements from space, and discussed increasing data usage from Europe’s Copernicus environmental network, and plans to expand the flagship Earth observation fleet.