The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe's gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESA is an international organisation with 17 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.
For more information on the European Space Agency, visit www.esa.int.
The European Space Agency launched ERS-2 in 1995, overlapping its operations with those of ERS-1, which was decommissioned in 1999. ERS-2 was built with a core payload of two specialised radars and an infrared imaging sensor, as well as an instrument designed to monitor ozone levels in the atmosphere. It circles the Earth at a height of 800 km and completes an orbit every 100 minutes, covering the entire globe in just three days. ERS-1 and ERS-2 have collected a wealth of valuable data on the Earth's land surfaces, oceans, and polar caps, contributing to an extensive archive of image data.
For more information on the ERS, visit http://earth.esa.int/ers.
Envisat is an advanced polar-orbiting Earth observation satellite, which provides measurements of the atmosphere, ocean, land, and ice. Its ambitious and innovative payload continues and extends the science and application objectives of the ERS-1 and 2 missions. The Envisat data supports Earth science research and allows monitoring of the evolution of environmental and climatic changes. Envisat was launched in March 2002.
For more information on Envisat please visit http://envisat.esa.int.