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Ride into orbit secured for Sentinel-1C

on 26 April 2022

A contract signed with Arianespace secures the launch for the third Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite. Scheduled to lift off on ESA’s new Vega-C rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana in the first half of 2023, Sentinel-1C will continue the critical task of delivering key radar imagery for a wide range of services, applications and science – all of which benefit society.

Carrying advanced radar technology to provide an all-weather, day-and-night supply of imagery of Earth’s surface, the ambitious Sentinel-1 mission has not only raised the bar for spaceborne radar, but also set the stage for Copernicus, the Earth observation component of the European Union’s space programme.

Copernicus has been the largest provider of Earth observation data in the world for some years now. The suite of Sentinel missions deliver complementary data and the range of services offered through Copernicus help address some of today’s toughest environmental challenges such as food security, rising sea levels, diminishing ice, natural disasters, and the overarching issue of the climate crisis.

In April 2014, Copernicus Sentinel-1A was the first satellite to be launched for this remarkable environmental programme.

With the mission comprising two identical satellites orbiting 180° apart to image the planet with a repeat frequency of six days, down to daily coverage at high latitudes, Sentinel-1B was launched in April 2016.

Sentinel-1A has already exceeded its design life of seven years – but is still going strong and expected to be in service for several years to come.

Sentinel-1B, on the other hand, is currently unavailable due to a technical anomaly, so it is important to get Sentinel-1C into orbit and operational as soon as possible.

Vega-C is more powerful than its predecessor and is capable of a wide range of mission types.

The Vega-C rocket will place the Sentinel-1C satellite, which weighs around 2.3 tonnes, in a Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude around 690 km.

More details here

Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab