Kourou, French Guiana: The European Space Agency (ESA) on Monday launched its second Sentinel-1 satellite – Sentinel-1B – to provide more ‘radar vision’ for Europe’s environmental Copernicus programme.
According to ESA, Sentinel-1B lifted off on a Soyuz rocket, flight VS14, from Europe’s Spaceport in Korou, French Guiana on 25 April 2016 at 21:02 GMT (23:02 CEST).
In case you missed the launch, here's a replay of the launch of VS14 with Europe's Sentinel1 B, three CubeSats and a Microscope satellite.
Video credit: ESA/YouTube
Sentinel-1B joins its identical twin, Sentinel-1A, which was launched two years ago from Kourou, in orbit to deliver information for numerous services, from monitoring ice in polar seas to tracking land subsidence, and for responding to disasters such as floods.
“The launch of Sentinel-1B marks another important milestone as this is the first constellation we have realised for Copernicus,” said ESA’s Director General Jan Woerner.
“Orbiting 180° apart, the two satellites optimise coverage and data delivery for services that are making a step change in the way our environment is managed.”
Both satellites carry an advanced radar that images Earth’s surface through cloud and rain regardless of whether it is day or night.
The three CubeSats, each measuring just 0×10×11 cm, piggybacked a ride on Soyuz are: OUFTI-1 from the University of Liege, Belgium, e-st@r-II from the Polytechnic of Turin, Italy, and AAUSat-4 from Aalborg University, Denmark. The other passenger is the Microscope satellite from France’s CNES space agency.