|astronautix.com||ESA Polar Platform|
|ESA Polar Platform|
ESA Polar Platform, 1984. British Aerospace Ltd. Polar Platform concept from 1984.
Credit: ESA via Marcus Lindroos. 32,694 bytes. 625 x 329 pixels.
Britain initially expressed strong interest in developing an unmanned Polar Platform for Earth observation as part of the European Columbus package. In 1986 the platform was scheduled for a 1995 launch. By 1987 the launch date had slipped by two years as the British were expressing doubts about the Space Station project. Britain finally pulled out in February 1988 and the design was scaled back to a smaller satellite based on the French SPOT-4 spacecraft bus. The design was retained when the British decided to rejoin a year later, but British Aerospace was appointed main contractor of the project. The $972-million POEM-1 project was moved out of the Columbus space station package in November 1991 and was subsequently descoped into Envisat-1.
Article by Marcus Lindroos