Airbus Defence and Space in Friedrichshafen (Germany) is prime contractor to develop and build the 2 tonne satellite, with Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse (France) supplying the Atmospheric Lidar ATLIDAirbus Defence and Space in Friedrichshafen (Germany) is prime contractor to develop and build the 2 tonne satellite, with Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse (France) supplying the Atmospheric Lidar ATLID
  • Airbus-built EarthCARE satellite departs Munich for Vandenberg, California.
  • Scheduled for a May launch on Falcon 9 rocket.
  • A collaborative mission between ESA and JAXA.
  • Aims to study clouds, aerosols, and their impact on climate change.

Munich, Germany – In a landmark step towards advancing our understanding of climate change, the Airbus-built EarthCARE (Earth Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation Explorer) spacecraft has left Munich, Germany. The destination is its launch site in Vandenberg, California, with a planned May launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

Marc Steckling, Head of Earth Observation, Science and Exploration at Airbus said:

“As the world’s climate continues to change at a faster and faster rate, scientists need ever more sophisticated space assets to enable better analysis. EarthCARE will help fill in the gaps by providing unprecedented measurements so that meteorologists and climatologists can better understand how energy is transmitted within the atmosphere.”

Groundbreaking Satellite Mission

EarthCARE stands as the most intricate mission in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) FutureEO programme. This groundbreaking satellite mission will quantify and mitigate uncertainties regarding the influence of clouds and aerosols on Earth’s climate system. Developed and tested with inputs from experts across 15 European countries, Japan, and Canada, EarthCARE symbolizes international collaboration in space exploration and earth science.

Investigating the roles of clouds and aerosols

This joint endeavor between ESA and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) focuses on investigating the roles of clouds and aerosols in reflecting solar radiation back into space and trapping infrared radiation from Earth’s surface. This critical study will enhance our grasp of the Earth’s energy budget and climate dynamics.

The mission’s key objectives include creating vertical profiles of natural and human-made aerosols, mapping the distribution and transport of water droplets and ice crystals in clouds, and offering vital data for improving climate modeling and weather forecasting. Understanding aerosols’ impact on cloud lifecycles is essential, as they play an indirect role in atmospheric radiation processes.

200 research institutes worldwide

With support from over 200 research institutes worldwide, EarthCARE is poised to significantly boost the accuracy of cloud development models. The data gathered will shed light on cloud behavior, composition, and their interactions with aerosols, contributing to a more precise understanding of our planet’s climate system.

As EarthCARE makes its journey towards its launch site, the anticipation grows for the insights this mission will bring, potentially transforming our approach to climate change and meteorology.

For further information or updates on EarthCARE and its mission objectives, please stay tuned to our ongoing coverage.

By Lisa Luckas

Lisa Luckas is a Sr. Business News Editor at Nobot.News.

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