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In orbit for more than a decade, ESA’s Earth Explorer satellite SMOS has not only exceeded its planned lifespan, but also surpassed its original scientific goals. Built to demonstrate new technology in space and address gaps in our scientific understanding of how Earth works as a system, this remarkable mission is now also being used for a number of practical applications. With drought seemingly more commonplace, entrepreneurs are using information on soil moisture from SMOS and data from other satellites to generate commercial data products for the insurance market, ultimately bringing benefits to farmers.

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