EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / DENMAN PRODUCTIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / DENMAN PRODUCTIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Envisat satellite, artwork. The Sun is emerging from behind the Earth's limb in the background. This satellite, launched on 1 March 2002 by the European Space Agency (ESA), was designed to make observations of the Earth using a variety of scientific instruments, including spectrometers, radiometers, radar altimeters, and atmospheric monitoring systems. At the time, it was the largest satellite launched by ESA. It was placed in a polar orbit at an altitude of 790 kilometres. Contact with the satellite was lost in April 2012, two years before a planned switchover to the Sentinel satellites (due to be launched from 2013).
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