New mission will provide global maps of soil moisture and ocean salinity

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Source: ScienceDaily

ESA's next Earth Explorer, SMOS, has just passed the all-important Flight Acceptance Review, signifying that all the elements that make up the mission are in place for launch later this year. The satellite can now be prepared for its journey to the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.

The Flight Acceptance Review is a formal procedure to ensure that all the mission elements are in order and ready for launch. These elements not only include the satellite, but also the readiness of the launcher and interfaces with the satellite, flight operations to control the satellite in obit and carry out calibration activities, data processing for the handling and distribution of data products to the users, and also plans and preparations for the launch campaign. 

Following the final review, the Flight Acceptance Review Board, which comprised senior managers from ESA and the French Space Agency CNES, were satisfied that all these elements are in good order and have signed the 'consent to ship' documentation. After being in storage for around a year, the SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) satellite can now be prepared for its long journey from...

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