Envisat still going strong after five successful years

February 28, 2007
Envisat still going strong after five successful years
Tropical Cyclone Gamede is visible making its way across the Indian Ocean just above the islands of Mauritius and Réunion (pictured) in this image acquired on 23 February 2007 by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) instrument working in Reduced Resolution mode to deliver a spatial resolution of 1200 metres. Credits: ESA

Launched from Kourou in French Guiana on the night of 28 February 2002, ESA’s Envisat spacecraft marks its fifth year in space. Having orbited Earth more than 26 000 times, the world’s largest and most complex environmental satellite ever launched has travelled a distance of more than 1 000 000 000 kilometres, nearly the equivalent of travelling to Jupiter and back.

Generating some 280 Gigabytes of data products daily, Envisat has gathered 500 Terabytes to date. The amount of data returned by Envisat’s suite of 10 instruments is providing scientists with a global picture of our environment and is helping to fulfil the initial needs of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative until the launch of the Sentinel satellites.

Results of ongoing research projects using data from Envisat, as well as other ESA satellites, will be presented at the 2007 Envisat Symposium in Montreux, Switzerland, from 23 to 27 April. This anniversary is particularly important because it marks the end of Envisat’s nominal lifetime, as the satellite was initially only intended to stay in orbit for five years. However, given the overall excellent standing of the satellite, the ESA Member States have agreed to fund the mission operations until 2010.

Source: ESA

Explore further: ESA and JAXA satellites 'talk' to each other

Related Stories

ESA and JAXA satellites 'talk' to each other

December 1, 2006

ESA's Envisat satellite and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) data relay test satellite Kodama have successfully completed an interoperability test demonstrating that scientific data from Envisat can be transmitted ...

Focus on space debris: Envisat

October 11, 2012

(Phys.org)—Space debris came into focus last week at the International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy. Envisat, ESA's largest Earth observation satellite, ended its mission last spring and was a subject of major ...

Recommended for you

Dark matter may be smoother than expected

December 7, 2016

Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey, made with ESO's VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team ...

Giant radio flare of Cygnus X-3 detected by astronomers

December 7, 2016

(Phys.org)—Russian astronomers have recently observed a giant radio flare from a strong X-ray binary source known as Cygnus X-3 (Cyg X-3 for short). The flare occurred after more than five years of quiescence of this source. ...

Saturn's bulging core implies moons younger than thought

December 7, 2016

Freshly harvested data from NASA's Cassini mission reveals that Saturn's bulging core and twisting gravitational forces offer clues to the ages of the planet's moons. Astronomers now believe that the ringed planet's moons ...

Cassini transmits first images from new orbit

December 7, 2016

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent to Earth its first views of Saturn's atmosphere since beginning the latest phase of its mission. The new images show scenes from high above Saturn's northern hemisphere, including the planet's ...

New evidence for a warmer and wetter early Mars

December 7, 2016

A recent study from ESA's Mars Express and NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provides new evidence for a warm young Mars that hosted water across a geologically long timescale, rather than in short episodic bursts ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.