Any space mission can only be said to be a success if its results make it back to Earth for use by those who need them. So for instance, Basic Activities also supports ESA's Earth Observation programme, tasked with providing European researchers and institutional users with standardised access to long-term Earth observation data.
As the observing capabilities of these missions increases, then the size of available data grows in turn, and the challenge of distributing these data usable in a practical way becomes more daunting. ESA’s response has been cloud-based 'Thematic Exploitation Platforms' providing an online environment to access information, processing tools and computing resources for community collaboration.
Since long-time series of datasets are needed to determine changes in our planet’s climate, it is vital that Earth observation satellite data and other Earth science data are preserved for future generations and are still accessible and usable after many years.
(Photo: EDRS relaying Copernicus Sentinel Earth observation data via laser links)
ESA Basic Activities at Space19+
For ESA’s next Ministerial Council, Space19+, set for the end of this year, the Agency is asking Europe’s space ministers for a substantial investment for its core Basic Activities, helping to support a new generation of space missions as efficiently as possible. ESA’s Basic Activities have three main objectives: to enable the future through early stage research and development, commencing the Agency’s seamless grid of innovation; develop and maintain ESA’s common infrastructure and expertise; and, develop, preserve and disseminate knowledge for European capacity building and sustainable growth – inspiring and promoting creativity.