JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Artist's impression of the European Remote-sensing Satellite (ERS-1) in orbit over the south pole. Due for launch in April 1991, ERS-1 is equipped with all-weather microwave and radar instruments which will be used primarily to study coastal, ocean and polar ice processes. The picture shows ERS-1's solar panels at right and its long Synthetic Aperture Radar antenna facing the Earth. ERS-1 will play a major role in international satellite investigations into climate change, the so-called "Mission to Planet Earth". It will map ocean waves, currents and tides; global sea- surface temperatures and winds; ocean floor topography and sea ice distribution.
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