ESA's EarthCARE Satellite Set for Launch and Aims to Deliver Key Insights on Earth's Climate

ESA's EarthCARE Satellite Set for Launch and Aims to Deliver Key Insights on Earth's Climate

With the climate crisis increasingly tightening its grip, the Earth Cloud Aerosol, and Radiation Explorer, or EarthCARE for short, carries a set of four state-of-the-art instruments that will work together to provide a holistic view of the complex interplay between clouds, aerosols, incoming solar radiation, and outgoing radiation to yield new insight into Earth’s radiation balance.

The EarthCARE satellite spent over a month cocooned in its transport container, during which the container’s temperature and pressure were monitored carefully throughout. Importantly, the team also purged nitrogen from the container to keep the satellite’s instruments in perfect condition.

A NASA building near the SpaceX launch site in Vandenberg, California, was home to EarthCARE during the storage period. Then, the satellite container was taken by truck to a different facility, called the Astrotech building, where it was first left to acclimatize to its new surroundings.

But now, EarthCARE has been carefully removed from the container, and the team has been reunited with their precious satellite. ESA’s EarthCARE launch campaign manager, Bill Simpson, said, “EarthCARE’s journey to California and subsequent few weeks of storage all went really well, but we were anxious to actually lay eyes on the satellite again. “So, when we were able to open the container and hoist EarthCARE out, we were all very excited. This hoisting maneuver is a very careful one – our satellite is over 2000 kg of very sensitive equipment. “I’m extremely happy to report that EarthCARE looks fit and well, but we obviously have to run a series of tests to make absolutely sure that it survived the journey ok.”

One of the first tasks on the ‘launch campaign’ to-do list was to give the satellite some energy by charging up its batteries. In parallel, the team at ESA’s Operations Centre in Germany is running a series of all-important simulations – these simulate what they will have to do during liftoff and the ‘early orbit’ phase of the mission.

ESA’s EarthCARE Project Manager, Dirk Bernaerts, noted, “This really does mark the start of the launch campaign – an important milestone that signals the start of an intense period that will last at least six weeks leading to liftoff. The team has a lot of work to do, the satellite is not only big, but extremely complex so everything has to be carefully checked and prepared before it is encapsulated within its Falcon 9 rocket fairing prior to launch towards the end of May."

Click here to learn more about ESA's EarthCARE Mission.

Publisher: SatNow
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GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013