Two new ESA satellites successfully lofted into orbit

2 November 2009 - The second satellite in ESA’s Earth Explorer series – the Soil Moisture and Ocean salinity (SMOS) mission – and the second demonstration satellite under ESA’s Project for Onboard Autonomy (Proba-2) were launched into orbit last night from northern Russia.

SMOS will play a key role in the monitoring of climate change on a global scale. It is the first ever satellite designed both to map sea surface salinity and to monitor soil moisture on a global scale. It features a unique interferometric radiometer that will enable passive surveying of the water cycle between oceans, the atmosphere and land.

(Source: ESA PR 28-2009, for full article go to www.esa.int)