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Watching over our future

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ESA / Applications / Observing the Earth

Fast forward

None of us know for certain what the future may hold. But what we do know is that ESA’s ERS satellites have spent many years keeping a watchful eye on our planet to make sure we don’t go too far wrong.

ERS-1 has only recently been decommissioned after nine years of service – three times its planned lifetime. In this time it has provided us with information and images of the Earth never seen before.

ERS-2 continues to watch over our planet and, in the year 2001, ESA’s new ‘super satellite’ Envisat will begin its five year mission to enlighten us further about our changing world.

Beyond Envisat, ESA’s Living Planet programme will involve the use of smaller satellites on specialised missions to help us expand our knowledge of our beautiful but fragile world.