European Space Agency’s SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) and Proba-2 (PRoject for OnBoard Autonomy) satellites are scheduled for launch on Monday 2 November at 02:50 CET on a Russian Rockot launcher from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia.
SMOS, ESA’s water mission, is the first satellite designed both to map sea surface salinity and monitor soil moisture on a global scale, thus contributing to better understanding of the Earth’s water cycle. Proba-2 will perform in-orbit demonstration of 17 advanced satellite technologies, solar observation experiments and plasma environment studies.
The main launch event for SMOS and Proba-2 will be held at ESA’s ESRIN establishment in Frascati, Italy. ESA senior management and programme specialists will be on hand to give explanations and interviews.
Live TV transmission of the launch will provide quality pictures to broadcasters from Plesetsk and from mission control rooms at CNES/Toulouse in France and at ESA’s Redu ground station in Belgium (for further details, see http://television.esa.int).
Media representatives wishing to follow the main launch event at ESA/ESRIN or the local launch event at one of the other ESA establishments are requested to fill in the accreditation form linked on the right and fax it back to the venue of their choice.
[Source: ESA press release]