The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced the launch of the Aelous satellite, which will be sued to measure winds around the world.
The satellite weighing 1,360 kg was lifted off with the Vega rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. This mission was the fifth in the family of ESA’s Earth Explorers, which address the most urgent Earth-science questions of our time.
“Aeolus epitomises the essence of an Earth Explorer. It will fill a gap in our knowledge of how the planet functions and demonstrate how cutting-edge technology can be used in space,” said Jan Wörner, ESA head.
ESA said that Aeolus will give scientists the information they need to understand how wind, pressure, temperature and humidity are interlinked.
“Aeolus carries one of the most sophisticated instruments ever to be put into orbit. The first of its kind, the Aladin instrument includes revolutionary laser technology to generate pulses of ultraviolet light that are beamed down into the atmosphere to profile the world’s winds – a completely new approach to measuring the wind from space,” said the agency.
The lift off can be watched on ESA’s website .