Living Planet Programme
The Living Planet Programme (LPP)  is a programme within the European Space Agency which is managed by the Earth Observation Programmes Directorate. LPP consists of two classes of Earth observation missions (listed below) including research missions known as Earth Explorers, and the Earth Watch class of missions whose objective is to develop support operational applications such as numerical weather forecasting or resource management.
List of Earth Explorers missions
Currently there are eight approved Earth Explorers missions, four of which are in orbit and operating:
- GOCE – Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer; it was launched on 17 March 2009.
- SMOS – Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity satellite will study ocean salinity and soil moisture; it was launched on 2 November 2009.
- CryoSat – is a program designed to map the Earth's ice cover.
- Swarm – is a trio of satellites to map the Earth's magnetism. The SWARM constellation was launched successfully on 22 November 2013.
- Aeolus – Atmospheric Dynamics Mission will use an innovative laser to measure winds. Due for launch in late 2018.
- EarthCARE – Earth Clouds Aerosols and Radiation Explorer will examine the formation and effects of clouds. Due for launch in August 2019.
- Biomass (satellite) – designed to calculate the amount of carbon stored in the world's forests, and to monitor for any changes over the course of its five-year mission. Due to launch in 2021.
- FLEX – the FLuorescence EXplorer mission proposes to launch a satellite for the global monitoring of steady-state chlorophyll fluorescence in terrestrial vegetation. Due to launch in 2022.
Past candidate missions that were not selected include:
- CoReH2O – a mission to study key characteristics in terrestrial snow, ice, and water cycles and their relations to climate change and variability. Competed with BIOMASS and PREMIER for the Earth Explorer 7 mission opportunity.
- PREMIER – a mission to study atmospheric processes related to trace gas, radiation, and chemical compositions in the mid to upper troposphere and lower stratosphere in order to understand their role on climate change. Competed with BIOMASS and CoReH2O for the Earth Explorer 7 mission opportunity.
- CarbonSat – a mission to determine the global distributions of carbon dioxide and methane and their impact on climate change. Competed with FLEX for the Earth Explorer 8 mission opportunity.
- ESA's Living Planet Programme European Space Agency
- GOCE site, ESA, retrieved 30 January 2016
- "ESA's water mission SMOS". ESA. 6 November 2013. Archived from the original on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- Drinkwater, Mark; Kerr, Yann; Font, Jordi; Berger, Michael (February 2009). "Exploring the Water Cycle of the 'Blue Planet': The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission" (PDF). ESA Bulletin. European Space Agency (137): 6–15.
- Amos, Jonathan (2 November 2009). "European water mission lifts off". BBC News. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- "Eurockot to launch two ESA Earth observation missions". ESA. 9 April 2010. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- "Esa's satellite Swarm launch to map Earth's magnetism". BBC News. 22 November 2013.
- "Aeolus - ESA Future Missions". ESA. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- de Selding, Peter B. (22 May 2015). "Cost, Schedule Woes on 2 Lidar Missions Push ESA To Change Contract Procedures". Spacenews. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- "ESA signs EUR 263m earth monitoring satellite contract". Environment Expert. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- "EarthCARE - Earth Online - ESA". ESA. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- "Biomass - ESA Future Missions". ESA. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- Jonathan Amos (8 May 2013). "Esa approves Biomass satellite to monitor Earth's forests". BBC News. (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- de Selding, Peter B. (25 September 2015). "Panel Endorses Vegetation Fluorescence Mapper for ESA's Earth Explorer Program". Spacenews. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- "CoReH2O - Report for Mission Selection - An Earth Explorer to observe snow and ice". ESA. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- "PREMIER - Report for Mission Selection - An Earth Explorer to observe atmospheric composition". ESA. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- "Reports on Earth Explorer Candidates CarbonSat and FLEX Now Available". ESA. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2017.