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Designation n/a
Launch date 8 Oct 2005
Country of origin Europe
Mission Scientific
Perigee/Apogee 720 km but not sun-synchronous
Inclination 92°
Launch vehicle Rokot #12

Satellite worth EUR 140 million. First Earth Explorer Opportunity Mission, part of ESA Living Planet.

End of life

Out of service 8 Oct 2005
Cause Launch failure. The launcher's program was incorrect.

Would have measured changes in the thickness of ice sheets and polar ocean sea-ice cover with unprecedented accuracy (1-3 cm). Would have made it possible to test predictions of ice melting due to global warming.

External resources


Lookup sat-index archive

Technical data


Prime contractor Astrium
Mass at launch 737 kg
Mass in orbit  
Solar array fixed to satellite body like a roof
DC power  
Design lifetime 3.5 years

Two radar antennas.

TT&C in S-band. Data in X-band.


SAR/Interferometric Radar ALtimeter provided by Alcatel Space. 70 kg.
Designed to measure the Earth's diverse ice-fields (mass and thickness), derived from the Poseidon oceanographic altimeter.

The Doris instrument will be used to precisely determine the orbit of the satellite, with the help of signals sent by earth stations.

A small laser retroreflector will also be onboard.

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