Earth Observation

Space research has led to a constant progress in earth sciences since EXPLORER 6 in 1959 when it was proven that the atmosphere and surface could be studied from an orbiting observatory. Since then, earth observation has produced thematic maps of most of the earth relevant parameters culminating in the present NASA EOS suite of satellites, in the current ESA ENVISAT satellite and in the operational EUMETSAT series of METOSAT and METOP satellites.

Belgian scientists participate also in smaller innovative satellites like the ESA PROBA-1, which qualifies as Belgian first national satellite and the Canadian Space Agency SCISAT satellite. Earth observation has already been performed during manned space flights and the present configuration of the International Space Station presents ample space for attachment of external payloads in the future.