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EarthCARE satellite contract signed
Date:5/27/2008

The European Space Agency and Astrium GmbH have today signed a contract worth 263 million to provide the EarthCARE satellite, the sixth Earth Explorer mission of ESAs Living Planet Programme. As prime contractor, Astrium GmbH is responsible for the satellites design, development and integration.

The contract was signed today in Berlin on the occasion of the International Aerospace Exhibition (ILA) by Volker Liebig, ESAs Director of Earth Observation, Evert Dudok, CEO of Astrium Satellites and Uwe Minne, Director of Earth Observation and Science at Astrium GmbH (Friedrichshafen), in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and Head of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) Johann-Dietrich Wrner.

Underlining the value of this mission for a better understanding of the Earth system and climate change issues, Volker Liebig stated that the role of aerosols in cloud formation and the interaction with radiation is not completely understood by science but plays an important role in climate and weather modelling. This is why the EarthCARE proposal was selected.

EarthCARE, ESAs Cloud and Aerosol mission developed in co-operation with JAXA, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, will address the need for a better understanding of the interactions between cloud, radiative and aerosol processes that play a role in climate regulation.

The EarthCARE mission aims to improve the representation and understanding of the Earth's radiative balance in climate and numerical weather forecast models by acquiring vertical profiles of clouds and aerosols, as well as the radiances at the top of the atmosphere. Aerosols control cloud properties, while clouds control the production of precipitation and convection influences stratospheric humidity. The observations of EarthCARE will therefore lead to more reliable climate predictions and better weather forecasts through the improved representation of processes
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Contact: Alain Lefebvre
alain.lefebvre@esa.int
31-715-653-588
European Space Agency
Source:Eurekalert

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