The Sentinel-2B satellite, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), was launched today, doubling the coverage of high-resolution optical imaging for the European Union Copernicus programme.
The satellite, weighting 1.1 tonnes, was carried into orbit on a Vega rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The launch took place at 01:49 GMT (03:49 local time in Romania).
The first stage separated 1 minute and 55 seconds after lift-off, while the final separation procedure and placing of the satellite into orbit took place 57 minutes and 57 seconds after the launch.
Sentinel’s systems were then activated from ESA’s operations centre in Darmstad, Germany, and its solar panel deployed.
In the following three days, the satellite’s instruments will be checked and calibrated in order to prepare the satellite for commissioning. The mission is expected to begin in the next 3-4 months.
The launch video can be viewed in the link below.
More details on the launch of the Sentinel-2B satellite are available here.
The optical imaging Sentinel-2 mission is based on a constellation of two identical satellites: Sentinel-2A, which was launched in June 2015, and Sentinel-2B. Although launched separately, the satellites are placed in the same orbit, flying 180° apart. Every five days, the satellites jointly cover all land surfaces, large islands, and inland and coastal waters between latitudes 84°S and 84°N, optimising global coverage and data delivery.
Image credit: ESA–Stephane Corvaja