Germany: Astrium, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) prime contractor for the Swarm mission, has completed the development of the first of the three Swarm research satellites. The satellite has been sent off to Russia.
The Swarm mission is aimed at analysing the geomagnetic field and its evolution to understand the Earth”s inner workings and its interaction with the space environment. The satellite constellation will use remote sensing to study Earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields. The variations that these fields display at different times and places will help scientists in understanding the dynamic processes taking place deep beneath the planet’s surface.
The testing of the remaining two satellites will be done soon. The trio of satellites will be launched simultaneously from Plesetsk (around 800 kilometres northeast of Moscow) on a single Rockot launch vehicle in November 2013.