Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




EARTH OBSERVATION
Pioneering ERS environment satellite retires
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (ESA) Jul 06, 2011


To avoid ERS-2 ending up as a piece of space debris, ESA will take the satellite out of service by bringing it down to a lower orbit while there is still sufficient fuel to make the careful manoeuvres.

After 16 years spent gathering a wealth of data that has revolutionised our understanding of Earth, ESA's veteran ERS-2 satellite is being retired. This pioneering mission has not only advanced science, but also forged the technologies we now rely on for monitoring our planet.

ERS-2 was launched in 1995, following its sister, the first European Remote Sensing satellite, which was launched four years earlier.

Carrying suites of sophisticated instruments to study the complexities of the atmosphere, land, oceans and polar ice, these two missions were the most advanced of their time, putting Europe firmly at the forefront of Earth observation.

The twin satellites were identical, apart from ERS-2's additional instrument to monitor ozone in the atmosphere. Both exceeded their design lifetime by far, together delivering a 20-year stream of continuous data.

In 2000, ERS-1 unexpectedly stopped working and now it is time to bid farewell to ERS-2 before it succumbs to a similar fate.

To avoid ERS-2 ending up as a piece of space debris, ESA will take the satellite out of service by bringing it down to a lower orbit while there is still sufficient fuel to make the careful manoeuvres.

The decision to retire ERS-2 was not taken lightly, but after orbiting Earth almost 85 000 times - travelling 3.8 billion km - the risk that the satellite could lose power at any time is clearly high.

The deorbiting procedure will be carried out over a number of weeks by spacecraft operators and flight dynamics experts at ESA's European Space Operations Centre in Germany.

Starting on 6 July, a series of thruster burns will gradually lower the satellite's orbit from its current altitude of 800 km to about 550 km, where the risk of collision is minimal. Eventually, ERS-2 will enter Earth's atmosphere and burn up.

Its destruction will occur within 25 years, in accordance with European Code of Conduct on Space Debris Mitigation.

ERS-2 has been delivering data right to the end. In one of its last operations, the satellite was placed in an orbit that allowed it to capture radar images every three days of some of Earth's most rapidly changing features.

.


Related Links
ERS
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EARTH OBSERVATION
DLR scientists support expedition with a highly accurate 3D model of mountain
Berlin, Germany (SPX) Jul 06, 2011
Considered one of the most beautiful mountains in the world and, at 8000 metres high, the most difficult to climb, K2 lies on the border between Pakistan and China. For scientists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), it is the perfect place for testing the latest processes for converting satellite data into 3D models. For mountaineers Gerlinde Kaltenbr ... read more


EARTH OBSERVATION
Marshall Center's Bassler Leads NASA Robotic Lander Work

NASA puts space probe into lunar orbit

ARTEMIS Spacecraft Prepare for Lunar Orbit

LRO Showing Us the Moon as Never Before

EARTH OBSERVATION
Scientists uncover evidence of a wet Martian past in desert

NASA Research Offers New Prospect Of Water On Mars

New Animation Depicts Next Mars Rover in Action

Islands of Life - Part One

EARTH OBSERVATION
NASA needs new 'breakthrough,' says Obama

NASA Beyond The Space Shuttle

University Of Wisconsin Students Win Space Habitat Competition

Russia gains edge in space race as US shuttle bows out

EARTH OBSERVATION
China to launch an experimental satellite in coming days

China to launch new communication satellite

China's second moon orbiter Chang'e-2 goes to outer space

Building harmonious outer space to achieve inclusive development

EARTH OBSERVATION
Russia's Progress M-11M readjusts ISS orbit

Training for ISS flight operations

Space junk narrowly misses station

Improving Slumber on the Space Station With Sleep-Long

EARTH OBSERVATION
Space X Dragon Spacecraft Returns To Florida

Arianespace Launch Postponed At Least 20 Days

Minotaur Rocket Launch from NASA Wallops Re-Scheduled

Parallel Ariane 5 launch campaigns keep up Arianespace's 2011 mission pace

EARTH OBSERVATION
Microlensing Finds a Rocky Planet

A golden age of exoplanet discovery

CoRoT's new detections highlight diversity of exoplanets

Rage Against the Dying of the Light

EARTH OBSERVATION
Apple fires back in patent war with Samsung

China accused of rushing bridge opening

Lockheed Martin Team Completes GeoEye-2 Design Phase Early

Important step in the next generation of computing




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement