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ESA's Earth Explorers satellites

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ESA / About Us / Ministerial Council 2012

The Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP) is one of ESA’s most successful programmes. Through innovative tools, it provides a unique framework to develop our knowledge of our planet and support its preservation, environment and life.

The success of this programme has been confirmed by the strong involvement of the scientific community in the first three Earth Explorer (EE) missions, the ongoing development of five further missions and the scientific understanding of the Earth system brought about by the provision of essential data from these missions.

The programme also enjoys links with a wealth of scientific projects and international research programmes.

EOEP has been instrumental in many technological advances and has confirmed Europe’s leading role in Earth Observation, including several ‘firsts’ in space.

In essence, and as the Mandatory Scientific Programme, such an envelope programme is driven by the science community, ensuring its relevance and impact.

Proposal to the Ministerial Council

The programme proposal covering the next period, EOEP-4, contains a suite of coherent activities to continue this success in four building blocks:

  • mission preparation and technology
  • development of two new Earth Explorer missions (EE-7 and EE-8) together with a small mission or flight of opportunity (EE-X)
  • ground segment management and mission operations
  • mission exploitation

EOEP-4 will also be the backbone of the European climate change and Earth science research programme.

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