After years of development and a rigorous testing programme, ESA’s EarthCARE satellite has left Munich, Germany, and is now on its away to SpaceX’s launch site in Vandenberg, California. Once it arrives, it will be put into storage for a few weeks until it is time to ready the satellite for liftoff – which is scheduled to launch in May on a Falcon 9 rocket.

The Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer, or EarthCARE for short, is the most complex Earth Explorer mission to date. The new satellite will look at the role that clouds and aerosols play in heating and cooling Earth’s atmosphere – contributing to our understanding of climate change. 

With its unique set of four instruments, EarthCARE will examine the role clouds and aerosols play in reflecting solar radiation back into space and also in trapping infrared radiation emitted from Earth’s surface. 

EarthCARE is a joint venture between ESA and JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

This video features interviews with Simonetta Cheli, Director of Earth Observation Programmes at ESA, Thorsten Fehr, ESA’s EarthCARE Mission Scientist, Dirk Bernaerts, ESA’s EarthCARE Project Manager and Eiichi Tomita, JAXA’s EarthCARE/CPR Project Manager.

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