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Aeolus, equipped with its Aladin instrument, in preparation for vibration tests at Intespace in Toulouse, France, on 22 March 2017. ADM-Aeolus is the first space mission to acquire profiles of the wind on a global scale. These near-realtime observations will improve the accuracy of numerical weather and climate prediction and advance our understanding of tropical dynamics and processes relevant to climate variability. Many aspects of our lives are influenced by the weather. It goes without saying that accurate forecasts are important for commercial undertakings such as farming, fishing, construction and transport – and in general make it easier to plan the days ahead. In extreme circumstances, knowing what the weather will bring can also help save lives and protect property. Although weather forecasts have advanced considerably in recent years, meteorologists urgently need reliable wind-profile data to improve accuracy further. ESA’s ADM-Aeolus wind mission will demonstrate that measuring global wind-profiles from space, using laser technology, can meet this requirement.