Space is the best place to observe the Earth.


If you want to understand global changes, you need a view from space. Dr. Godela Ro├čner pointed this out in her role as moderator of the session "The Power of Earth Observation to understand global Challenges". Henri Laur from ESA's Head of EO Mission Management presented ESA's Earth observation and research missions in his talk. "Space is the best place to observe the Earth," he began his presentation. From optical to radar missions, Laur showed his audience numerous examples. From the oil pollution of the oil tanker "Prestige", which sank off the coast of Spain in 2002, to the drought index in Europe, the exact measurement of sea level rise or the increase in NO2, magnetic field changes and situation images after natural disasters such as the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. The best thing about Sentinel data is that it is a public good and is available free of charge as open data; cooperation with commercial service providers is expressly encouraged, Laur said. In the other presentations, Elisabeth Hamdouch from the European Commission pointed out the outstanding role of the European earth observation system COPERNICUS. Against the background of the European Union's zero-emissions policy, COPERNICUS provides data for the construction industry, mobility planning, industrial transformation and agriculture, among others. Hamdouch also pointed out the numerous opportunities for cooperation. Dr. Anna Christmann, Member of the German Bundestag and Federal Government Coordinator for Aerospace, emphasized the value of earth observation data for society, the economy and ecology and referred to the German satellite mission EnMap (Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program), which was launched in April 2022 to identify climate-relevant processes.