Arianespace Launches First Copernicus Satellite

Sentinel-1A

Sentinel 1A Launch. Photo: ESA

[Via Satellite 04-11-2014] Arianespace launched the European Space Agency’s (ESA) first Copernicus environmental satellite, Sentinel 1A, on April 3 from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. This mission is the first of six that will comprise the core of Europe’s Copernicus environmental monitoring system. The program will provide data on the world’s land surfaces, oceans and atmosphere to assist with policymaking decisions and the needs of citizens and service providers.

The satellite is equipped with a “synthetic aperture radar,” which will maintain the spacecraft’s continuity with the Envisat satellite, a European satellite that stopped transmitting in 2012. It is also programmed with a laser terminal to send information through the European Data Relay System satellites for continuous data delivery.

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