ESA’s Aeolus wind-measurement satellite: 16 years in the making. Was it worth it? TBD

by Peter B. de Selding

CENTER HARBOR, New Hampshire — Children born when design began on Europe’s Aeolus global wind-velocity-measuring satellite are now preparing for university — a 16-year lapse of time. Can any such mission be worth the wait?

Aeolus, launched Aug. 22 aboard a European Vega rocket — the vehicle is now 12 out of 12 since introduction in 2012 — set no record for development duration. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, still more than two years from its latest launch date, is 22 years and counting.

But unlike JWST, Aeolus . . .

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