Copernicus is a flagship space programme of the European Union and European Space Agency. Josef Aschbacher, the Director of Earth Observation Programmes at the European Space Agency, will be discussing and answering questions regarding the ESA’s Copernicus missions.
Copernicus provides a unified system designed to benefit the environment, the way we live, humanitarian needs and support effective policy-making for a more sustainable future. ESA coordinates the delivery of data from upwards of 30 satellites, delivering in excess of 10 petabytes of data each year. The Copernicus services fall into six main categories: land management, the marine environment, atmosphere, emergency response, security and climate change. In essence, Copernicus will help shape the future of our planet for the benefit of all.
Born in Austria, Josef Aschbacher studied at the University of Innsbruck, graduating with a Master’s and a Doctoral Degree in Natural Sciences.
He has 35 years of professional experience in Earth observation. His
professional career in ESA began in 1990. During 1994–2001 he worked at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy, where he was the Scientific Assistant to the Director of the Space Applications Institute.
He returned to ESA HQ in Paris in 2001, and in 2016, he was selected to his current position where he is responsible for the Directorate’s activities, having an annual budget responsibility of 1.6 bn Euro and being responsible for 570 employees. The Directorate has 28 satellite missions under development and currently operates 12 satellites.