ESA issues call for new Earth Explorer proposals

Enlarge * Earth observing satellites play a fundamental role in understanding our planet and how humankind is affecting Earth’s delicate balance. Using cutting-edge technology, Earth Explorer missions reveal new insights into how the oceans, cryosphere, atmosphere, land and Earth’s interior work as a system. While science continues to reap the benefits of these missions, we are now in a new era where Earth observation is benefiting society at large.

ESA is announcing an opportunity for scientists involved in Earth observation to submit proposals for the next potential Earth Explorer satellite mission.

Traditionally, Earth Explorers use new measurement techniques to explore and understand different aspects of the Earth system.

So far, eight missions have been selected. Each was proposed by the scientific community and realised through a user-driven selection process to ensure that they address urgent Earth-science questions.

Reflecting the new Earth Observation Science Strategy for ESA, proposals for the ninth Explorer should not only demonstrate scientific excellence and innovative technology, but also address important scientific questions that have a direct bearing on humankind will face in the coming decades.

This includes, for example, the availability of food, water, energy and resources, health, risk of disaster and climate change.

It is foreseen that the ninth Explorer will be launched no later than 2024.

The procedure for submitting proposals is two-fold. Initially, ESA must receive a letter of intent by 1 February 2016 and then a full proposal by 24 June 2016. In addition, a workshop for proposers will be held on 8 March 2016.

More information about this Call and the facility to upload Letters of Intent (LOI) and proposals can be found at ESA’s Earth Observation Proposal Upload System website.

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