Traditionally, Earth Explorers use new measurement techniques to explore and understand different aspects of the Earth system.
So far, eight missions have been selected. Each was proposed by the scientific community and realised through a user-driven selection process to ensure that they address urgent Earth-science questions.
Reflecting the new Earth Observation Science Strategy for ESA, proposals for the ninth Explorer should not only demonstrate scientific excellence and innovative technology, but also address important scientific questions that have a direct bearing on societal issues humankind will face in the coming decades.
This includes, for example, the availability of food, water, energy and resources, health, risk of disaster and climate change.
It is foreseen that the ninth Explorer will be launched no later than 2024.
The procedure for submitting proposals is two-fold. Initially, ESA must receive a letter of intent by 1 February 2016 and then a full proposal by 24 June 2016. In addition, a workshop for proposers will be held on 8 March 2016.
More information about this Call and the facility to upload Letters of Intent (LOI) and proposals can be found at ESA’s Earth Observation Proposal Upload System website