Europe's newest Earth Observation Satellite has been routed.
The Sentinel-3B spacecraft rode into orbit today on a Rockot rocket, which departed at 13:57 from the Russian Cosmodrome in Plesetsk, about 500 miles north of Moscow. EDT (1757 GMT, 8:57 am local time in Plessezk)
If everything goes according to plan, the 2,535-lb. (1,150 kilograms) Sentinel-3B will settle in a polar orbit 506 miles (815 kilometers) above the Earth – the same path followed by its twin Sentinel-3A, which launched in February 201
Like Sentinel-3A The newly spiked satellite will use a range of instruments to keep an eye on the oceans, land and air of the earth and to make light of how our planet is ticking and how it feels changed. Both Sentinel-3s are designed to run for at least seven years and have enough fuel for a dozen years.
The Sentinel 3 mission "provides measurements to monitor aquatic organisms' productivity and marine pollution to map sea-level changes and predict the seaway for efficient and safe ship-routing," said European Space Agency officials ( ESA) in a statement.
"In addition to measuring the oceans, the mission also provides unique and timely information on altering land cover, vegetation, urban heather islands, and tracking forest fires," they added.
Sentinel-3 is part of the Copernicus Earth Observation Program, a European Commission project ission using ESA. More than 30 satellites are currently under the Copernicus umbrella, ESA officials said.
Many of these ships are Sentinels that have been orbiting in recent years. For example, the Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B radar satellites launched in April 2014 and April 2016, respectively. Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-2B launched missions in June 2015 and March 2017 to collect high-resolution optical images. And the Sentinel-5P, which monitored pollution, hit orbit in October 2017 with a Rockot.
The Rockot has an interesting history: The three-stage, 29-meter-high rocket was derived from the intercontinental base SS-19 ballistic missile, which developed the Soviet Union in the 1970s. The rocket began flying space missions in the 1990s, and the German company Eurockot Launch Services – the provider for today's launch – has flown it from Plessezk since 2000.