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European panel to launch Florescence Explorer mission

KEY POINTS
• Flex mission will map global vegetation
• Flex mission to cost under 300 million Euros

European Earth Observation advisory committee has planned to launch a Fluorescence Explorer aka Flex mission in 2021 or 2022. The Flex mission will map global vegetation florescence to measure plant stored carbon. Solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence is an indicator of the process by which plants convert light from the sun into chemical energy. A plant can be green, but not active. This mission will help monitor the health of plants. The Flex mission had been set aside following a previous European Space Agency Earth observation competition, in part because of the complexity of its own instruments. That complexity has been reduced by the arrival of Europe’s Sentinel 3 Earth observation satellite, whose multispectral imagery will do some of the work of Flex. The total cost of Flex mission is likely to be under 300 million Euros.