A better knowledge of our planet behaviour; this is the objective of SMOS that will be launched on 2 November from the Russian cosmodrome of Plesetsk.
SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) is ESA's second Earth Explorer satellite under its Living Planet Programme to go into orbit.
SMOS will primarily observe soil moisture over the Earth's landmasses and salinity over the oceans. Data from SMOS will lead to a better understanding of the Earth's water cycle which has important effects on the climate. SMOS will also study the frozen regions of our planet, known as the cryosphere.
SMOS will be launched together with another ESA satelite PROBA-2, to test new technologies.