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The European Space Agency (ESA) released a Call for Proposals for the next Earth Explorer Core Mission in March 2005, with the aim to select the 7th Earth Explorer (EE-7) mission for launch in the next decade. Twenty-four proposals were received and subject to scientific and technical assessment. Six candidate missions were selected and further investigated in the preliminary feasibility studies (Phase 0). One of these missions is BIOMASS, which has recently been selected to proceed to Phase-A. BIOMASS is a response to the urgent need for greatly improved mapping of global biomass and the lack of any current space systems capable of addressing this need.