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Seventh Sentinel Satellite in Orbit – Air & Cosmos



Copernicus sentinel-3B, successfully launched into orbit on April 25 on a Rockot launcher, connected its identical twin, Sentinel-3A.

The second Sentinel-3 satellite, Sentinel-3B was successfully launched into orbit and completed its identical twin Sentinel-3A. This pairing of satellites increases coverage and data delivery for the Copernicus European Union Environmental Program

The 1150kg Sentinel-3B satellite – built by Thales Alenia Space for the European Space Agency (ESA) – became on April 25 ten April at 17:57 GMT on a Rockot launcher from Plessezk, Russia, promoted to its planned orbit.

The controllers are now checking that all systems of the satellite are working and are starting to calibrate the instruments to put the satellite into operation. It is expected that the mission will start its routine operation after five months.

With this seventh Sentinel launch, the first Sentinel missions for the European Union's Copernicus Environmental Observation Network are in orbit carrying a range of land, oceans and atmosphere monitoring technologies. The Sentinel-3 payload includes:

  • Two optical instruments: OLCI (Ocean and Land Color Instrument) and SLSTR (Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer)

  • Two radio-frequency (RF) instruments: SRAL (Synthetic-Aperture Radar Altimeter ) and MWR (microwave radiometers), which will allow measurements to be made to determine the topography of oceans, sea ice and land-based waters.

Oceans also measure the temperature and color of the sea surface as sea levels and the thickness of sea ice over oceans. These measurements are used, for example, to monitor changes in the Earth's climate and for applications such as marine pollution.

Over land, satellites monitor area fires, map the way land is used, check vegetation health, and measure water levels in rivers and lakes.


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