Europe-Japan EarthCare mission: 16 years from project start to launch ‘and still leading-edge tech,’ managers say

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — The European Space Agency (ESA) launched its EarthCare cloud- and aerosol- observation satellite on May 28, an ambitious joint mission with Japan's Jaxa space agency that ESA hopes will justify its 11-year delay and cost increase.

The 2,300-kilogram EarthCare was carried into orbit by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. ESA confirmed acquisition of the satellite's signal about 43 minutes after separation from the Falcon 9. Juan Piñeiro, flight director at ESA . . .

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