Europe launches fourth Earth monitoring satellite
by Staff Writers
Cayenne (AFP) March 7, 2017
Europe launched a fourth satellite Tuesday for its Copernicus Earth-monitoring project to track changes in forest cover and air pollution, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced.
The 1.1-tonne, "colour-vision" Sentinel-2B satellite blasted off on a Vega rocket from Europe's space port in Kourou, French Guiana, overnight, and was successfully placed in Earth orbit, it said.
In about three days, controllers will start calibrating instruments to commission the satellite, which is to start operations in three to four months.
"With this launch we are taking another step toward advancing the Copernicus programme, which is the most sophisticated Earth observation system in the world," ESA director general Jan Woerner said in a statement.
Two more satellites are to follow in the coming months.
Sentinel-SB, a twin of Sentinel-2A launched in June 2015, will zoom in on changes in the Earth's land mass and coastal zones -- forest cover and pollution in lakes and coastal waters, for example.
Between them, the Sentinel-2 pair will cover the Earth's entire surface in five days. They are placed in the same orbit, on opposite sides of the planet, 180 degrees apart.
"Each Sentinel-2 satellite carries an innovative high-resolution multispectral camera with 13 spectral bands for a new perspective of land and vegetation," the agency said.
"The combination of high-resolution, novel spectral capabilities, a field of vision covering 290 kilometres (180 miles) and frequent revisit times will provide unprecedented views of Earth."
Sentinel-1A was launched in April 2014 and Sentinel-1B two years later. They are equipped with special cloud-penetrating radar with which to monitor Earth's surface by day and by night, regardless of the weather.
Future satellites will focus on ocean data and Earth's atmosphere.
By mapping areas stricken by flood or earthquake, Copernicus will also help emergency teams identify worst-hit areas and locate passable roads, railway lines and bridges.
Copernicus, a programme of the ESA and European Commission, is named for the 16th-century Polish astronomer who determined that the Earth orbited the Sun, and not the other way round, as convention had it at the time.
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Feb 15, 2017
For its first launch of the year, Ariane 5 successfully completed its mission from the European space port of Kourou (French Guiana) for the 77th consecutive time, placing two telecommunications satellites in geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). The launch performance achieved by this Ariane 5 ECA was 10,450 kg in GTO (of which 9,569 kg was accounted for by the satellites). The launcher imp ... read more
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.|