ESA has announced the shortlist of new Earth Explorer mission proposals within its Living Planet Programme. This is part of the selection procedure that will eventually lead to the launch of the fourth Earth Explorer Core mission during the first half of the next decade.
The Living Planet
The six missions cover a range of environmental issues with the aim of furthering our understanding of the Earth system and changing climate:
The selection of these six mission proposals follows the release of the Call for Earth Explorer Core mission ideas in March 2005. ESA received 24 responses, which covered a broad range of Earth science disciplines, and in particular responded well to the priorities set by the Agencys Earth Science Advisory Committee (ESAC). These priorities focused on the global carbon and water cycles, atmospheric chemistry and climate, as well as the human element as a cross cutting issue.
The proposals were peer reviewed by scientific teams, and also appraised technically and programmatically. Based on these reviews, the ESAC evaluated the proposals and recommended the list of six mission ideas in order of priority. Following these recommendations, ESA’s Programme Board for Earth Observation on 18-19 May approved the proposal of the Director of Earth Observation Programmes to initiate assessment studies for these six mission candidates.
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