NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header




The EnMAP project is managed by DLR, the German space agency, which first approved the satellite for development in 2006. The launch of EnMAP has been delayed a decade due to technological and engineering problems, mainly associated with the satellite’s sophisticated imaging instrument.

The satellite will scan Earth’s surface with a telescope and dual spectrometers tuned to see sunlight reflected off the ground, lakes, rivers, and oceans in 242 colors.

“EnMAP is a satellite that acquires images of Earth,” said Sebastian Fischer, the mission manager at DLR. “However, an image is normally recorded in three different colors: red, green and blue. The unique thing about EnMAP is that it does not only concentrate on these three colors, but the light is split into very many, very small wavelength ranges.”

The extra detail can tell scientists, policymakers, businesses, farmers, and foresters about the state of the environment, giving insights about the health of vegetation and water pollution.

With EnMAP, “we have a separate image for each wavelength range, which we can then analyze,” Fischer said. “And we can detect, for example, if a plant does not have enough water, or if the plant is missing nutrients.”

The EnMAP spacecraft and its hyperspectral imaging instrument were built by the German space company OHB. Originally, the plan was to send EnMAP aloft on a dedicated flight on a smaller rocket, such as India’s PSLV or the European Vega launcher, Fischer said.

Alternate Names

  • 52159

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2022-04-01
Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 Full Thrust
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 936 kg

Funding Agency

  • Deutsche Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) (Germany)


  • Earth Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

[] NASA Logo -