Earth Explorer 12

CEOI-supported mission concepts selected as Earth Explorer candidates.

Monday 22nd April 2024.

Keystone and Hydroterra+ are among the four missions that have been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) for Phase 0 studies, with one of them to be implemented, eventually, as the Earth Explorer 12 mission. Both have been supported by the UK Space Agency’s mission and technology development grants managed by the CEOI. 

The Keystone mission, led by Dr Daniel Gerber of RAL Space, and its predecessor the LOCUS mission have benefited from CEOI grant funding of £2.3M since 2012 for the development of the mission concept and, most recently, key THz technologies by RAL Space and the University of Leeds. These developments have enabled the raising of the Technology Readiness Level, an essential criterion for the selection of the mission.

The CEOI has also contributed about £250,000 for Geosynchronous Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mission studies led by Cranfield University, including a study paving the way for G-CLASS (later renamed HydroTerra). Professor Steve Hobbs, from Cranfield University, led earlier phases of the study and is co-PI for the upgraded Hydroterra+ mission.

Our warmest congratulations to past and present contributors to these two missions and we look forward to their maturation over the coming years, and hope to see one of them being launched around 2036 as the Earth Explorer 12 mission.