Esa Copernicus project – six new missions planned

© Paopano –

The European earth observation program Copernicus provides data on the development and use of our planet – now the satellite family is to be expanded.

“These are all completely new satellites with new measuring instruments on board,” said the head of the earth observation program of the European Space Agency Esa, Josef Aschbacher, the German Press Agency.

Last week Esa placed orders for more than 2.5 billion euros for six other Copernicus missions. The project still has to overcome hurdles at European level. “But the basic decision has already been made. And if nothing goes wrong, there will be the green light for completing the development by the end of next year. “

One of the most important new instruments is an instrument for measuring CO2 in the atmosphere, explains the expert. “CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas for global warming. Today’s measurement methods are inadequate. ”The satellite that is now being developed can measure very precisely man-made CO2. “It can then be said, for example, which industry pollutes more, which rainforests absorb more and which role the ocean plays.”

This mission is particularly important in the context of the Paris climate agreement of 2015. “From 2026, the satellite can deliver data to monitor compliance with the agreement. The mission starts in 2025, which is very sporty, ”said expert Aschbacher. Other satellites concentrate on the vegetation on earth, the temperature or the polar regions.

“The three main topics that we address with these six satellites are climate, the Arctic and Africa,” explains Aschbacher. The Arctic theme also has a climate component, of course, but this is also about natural gas and oil deposits. Africa focuses on issues such as drought and food shortages.

The CO2 mission would start first – the others would come two or three years later.

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