This Union Session will highlight international space agency plans on current and future planetary exploration including Earth as seen by ESA, NASA and other (to be confirmed) space agencies. We will highlight flagship missions observing the Earth and other planetary bodies and discuss the challenges of organising future missions in an international framework as well as a forward look at potential future candidate missions.

Public information:
This Union Session will highlight international space agency plans on current and future planetary exploration including Earth as seen by ESA, NASA, JAXA and the Russian Space Agency. We will highlight flagship missions observing the Earth and other planetary bodies and discuss the challenges of organising future missions in an international framework as well as a forward look at potential future candidate missions. The first three presentations focus, primarily, on Earth Observation missions and the following three on planetary and solar system missions. Speakers include the directors of Earth Observation and Planetary Science from ESA, NASA, JAXA and the Russian Space Research Institute.

Convener: Jonathan Bamber | Co-conveners: Özgür Karatekin, Håkan Svedhem
| Tue, 05 May, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)

Tuesday, 5 May 2020 | Room E1

Chairperson: Jonathan Bamber & Hakan Svedhem
10:45–11:00 |
Takeshi Hirabayashi

Contribution to water cycle and climate studies, disaster mitigation, and various operational applications, including weather forecast, fishery, and agriculture, is a big target of JAXA’s Earth observation missions. JAXA launched the Greenhouse-gases Observing SATellite-2 (GOSAT-2), which is a successor of the GOSAT satellite, in October 2018. GOSAT series satellites are a joint mission among Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan (MOE), National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) and JAXA to provide accurate measurement of greenhouse-gases for researchers and policymakers. Another series of satellites that contribute to water cycle and climate studies is the Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM). It consists of two satellite missions, GCOM-W (Water) and GCOM-C (Climate) and aims to provide comprehensive information of the Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) of atmosphere, ocean, land, cryosphere and ecosystem by combined information of optical and microwave imagers. The GCOM-W satellite carries the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2), a successor of AMSR-E on NASA’s EOS Aqua satellite, to monitor water-related variables. On the other hand, the GCOM-C satellite carries the Second-generation Global Imager (SGLI) to monitor various parameters related to carbon cycle and energy budget. In December 2019, we started development of the Global Observation SATellite for Greenhouse gases and Water Cycle (GOSAT-GW) that is a joint mission of AMSR2 follow-on (AMSR3) and GOSAT-2 follow-on to be launched in Japanese Fiscal Year (JFY) 2023. AMSR3 will be almost equivalent capability to that of AMSR2 except additional high-frequency channels (166 & 183 GHz) for snowfall retrievals and numerical weather prediction. For water cycle studies, JAXA and NASA led the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission under international partnership. JAXA provides the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) onboard the GPM core observatory and GCOM-W for the GPM mission to provide high-frequent and accurate global precipitation observation. One of its major outcomes is the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP), which is a set of hourly merged-satellite global precipitation products. In June 2019, we have released GSMaP realtime version (GSMaP_NOW) with 0-hour latency over global area, while near-real-time version (GSMaP_NRT) is 4-hour latency. GSMaP is especially used in areas where ground observation capability is not enough, such as isolated islands and developing countries, for heavy rainfall and tropical cyclone monitoring. For land monitoring and disaster mitigation, including flood plain detection, JAXA currently operates the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 (ALOS-2) carrying Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). Two ALOS series satellites are waiting for launch in near future -- ALOS-3 carrying advanced optical imager to be launched in JFY2020 and ALOS-4 carrying advanced SAR is to be launched in JFY2021. Combination use of multi-satellite and numerical models is one of JAXA’s targets to expand satellite data utilization in various fields. JAXA collaborates with Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) in various operational applications. The recent outcome in this collaboration is that JMA will start operational data assimilation of Himawari-8 aerosol products into model for aerosol forecasts in January 2020. Further collaboration with model communities are underway to utilize multi-satellite data into various models for better monitoring and forecasts.


How to cite: Hirabayashi, T.: Contribution of JAXA’s Earth Observation Missions to Water Cycle and Climate Studies, Disaster Mitigation, and Operational Applications, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19165, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19165, 2020

11:00–11:15 |
Josef Aschbacher

Earth Observation is currently undergoing a major transformation driven by elements like data analytics, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, and Big Data. Moreover, there are new actors – often from outside the traditional space sector –, new technical mission concepts and new ways of financing space projects. The presentation will give an overview of ESA’s Earth Observation programme with its major ‘pillars’, and its evolution in regard to the trends above. The presentation will also highlight the impacts of ESA’s Ministerial Conference in December 2019 that yielded excellent results for ESA in general and for Earth observation in particular. A special focus will be put on opportunities and perspectives of international cooperation.


How to cite: Aschbacher, J.: The Future of Earth Observation from Space, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22140, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22140, 2020

11:15–11:30 |
Sandra Cauffman

Earth Observing satellites provide a wide angle lens with which to view our home planet in a systematic manner. Significant progress has been made over the last few decades in understanding the Earth as a system and the impact of human actions. Remote global observations provide knowledge that can inform policies of specific features of our world in transition. As the stakes get higher with more population, infrastructure, and higher stress on ecosystems, how are leading space agencies around the world taking on this challenge at both the national, regional and international level?  How is the advent of improved access to space and of new constellations of capable, low cost buses enabling new ways of investigating the Earth and providing operational services? Further, the data from this armada of spacecraft being returned to Earth are considerably beyond any level ever experienced previously. How are the agencies addressing this challenge of processing and storing unpresented levels of data and getting it in the hands of the decision makers? How well are the international coordination bodies working? Senior representatives from various space agencies will participate in this special session, to address the issues mentioned above and discuss the path forward.

How to cite: Cauffman, S.: Future of Earth observation at NASA, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22280, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22280, 2020

11:30–11:45 |
Doris Daou and Lori S. Glaze

NASA’s Planetary Science Division (PSD) and space agencies around the world are collaborating on an extensive array of missions exploring our Solar System. Planetary science missions are conducted by some of the most sophisticated robots ever built and international collaboration is an essential part of what we do. NASA has always encouraged international participation on our missions both strategic (i.e., Mars 2020) and competitive (i.e., Discovery and New Frontiers) and other Space Agencies have reciprocated and invited us to participate in their missions.

More specifically, NASA has had a long and fruitful collaboration with ESA on their planetary missions. Currently, NASA is involved in the BepiColombo mission (1 instrument in the Italian Space Agency’s instrument suite), and the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer mission (one instrument and parts of two others). In concert with ESA’s Mars missions we have an instrument on the Mars Express mission, the orbit-ground communications package on the Trace Gas Orbiter (launched in 2016) and part of the DLR/Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer instruments going onboard the ExoMars Rover. Likewise, NASA’s Mars 2020 rover includes several international payload elements: Spain’s Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA); Norway’s Radar Imager for Mars' Subsurface Experiment (RIMFAX); and the US SuperCam has a significant contribution from France.

In 2016, ESA released a call for proposals in their 5th Medium-sized mission class (referred to as M5) as part of their Cosmic Vision program. ESA once again has been tremendous in welcoming possible cooperative proposals with NASA as in the EnVision orbital mission to Venus. EnVision would perform high-resolution radar mapping and atmospheric studies of Venus.

International partnerships are an excellent, proven way of amplifying the scope and sharing the science results of a mission otherwise implemented by an individual space agency. Looking forward, NASA’s Planetary Science Division is initiating the next Decadal Survey, led by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Mathematics, that will identify priorities for strategic missions in the decade 2023-3032.  There are many exciting destinations within the solar system and these missions will provide new opportunities for international partnership.

The exploration of the Solar System is uniquely poised to bring planetary scientists, worldwide, together under the common theme of understanding the origin, evolution, and bodies of our solar neighborhood. NASA’s Planetary Science Division provides the planetary science community with opportunities to include international participation on NASA missions. NASA's Discovery and New Frontiers Programs provide U.S. scientists the opportunity to assemble international teams and design exciting, focused planetary science investigations that would deepen the knowledge of our Solar System. The most recent call for Discovery ideas will soon announce selections as part of Step 1 of the competitive process.  NASA continues to encourage the international science community to take full advantage of the many opportunities provided.

How to cite: Daou, D. and Glaze, L. S.: NASA Planetary Science and European Partnerships and Participations, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22168, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22168, 2020

11:45–12:00 |
Anatoli Petrukovich, Lev Zelenyi, Oleg Korablev, Igor Mitrofanov, and Evgeny Lupyan

We review current status of Russian space research in the fields of planetary and Earth science. In the recent years planetary experiments of Space Research Institute are flown onboard six European and US missions at Mars, Venus, Moon and Mercury. In addition, two instruments are onboard Exomars-2016, a joint project with ESA. The second Exomars launch is expected in 2020. Extensive Russian lunar program includes launches of two landers and one orbiter in 2021,2024,2025, also with ESA cooperation. In more distant future the new Venus program is shaping up. Besides that Space Research Institute conducts extensive Earth observation research, mostly targeted at natural systems monitoring. 

How to cite: Petrukovich, A., Zelenyi, L., Korablev, O., Mitrofanov, I., and Lupyan, E.: Planetary and Earth science in Russian space programs, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22340, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22340, 2020

12:00–12:15 |
Günther Hasinger

After the successful outcome of the Space19+ ministerial meeting in Seville we are looking forward to exciting years, with important new missions in the ESA Scientific Programme. Solar Orbiter in Spring 2020, the Exomars Rover in Summer 2020 and JUICE in Summer 2022 are flagship ESA missions in the Cosmic Vision programme. But there are also a number of smaller and missions of opportunity, like Proba-3 in 2021, the ESA/China mission SMILE in 2023, and JAXA Martian Moon Explorer mission MMX in 2024. And in 2028 there will be the exciting Flexi mission Comet Interceptor to an as yet undiscovered pristine comet or even another interstellar visitor. I will review these missions together with the exciting science from our current fleet of solar system missions.

How to cite: Hasinger, G.: Solar System Missions in the ESA Scientific Program, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22656, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22656, 2020