Watch Live: Next-Gen Environment Satellite Aims For Space

by Elizabeth Howell on April 3, 2014

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UPDATE, APRIL 4: The satellite safely made it into space! Watch the launch replay and successful satellite separation here.

Just in case you aren’t already in French Guiana, here’s your chance to watch a European environment radar satellite take a rocket ride. Tune into the webcast above to see Sentinel-1A’s launch. If the schedule holds, the launch will be at 5:02 p.m. EDT (9:02 p.m. UTC) on April 3, 2014. Watch live above!

ESA heralds Sentinel-1 as a “new era in Earth observation” because the satellite duo (yes, it will be eventually two satellites) will vastly improve their ability to send out information on natural disasters and quick-moving Earth observation events. Sentinel-1 will in fact be the first of a satellite series feeding into the same information system.

Once the second half of the duo launches in 2016, Sentinel-1 will have a wide swath of geographical coverage, could go to the same areas quickly, and would send data out quickly. Repeatable and rapid Earth observations will bring data quickly into the hands of the authorities who could make decisions about evacuations and other things. 

Artist's conception of Sentinel-1, an environment-monitoring satellite from the European Space Agency. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

Artist’s conception of Sentinel-1, an environment-monitoring satellite from the European Space Agency. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

This information will be fed into Copernicus, a new system that will co-ordinate all of the Sentinel satellites for users to gain information.

“The Sentinels will provide a unique set of observations, starting with the all-weather, day and night radar images from Sentinel-1 to be used for land and ocean services,” ESA stated in an explanation about Copernicus.

“Sentinel-2 will deliver high-resolution optical images for land services and Sentinel-3 will provide data for services relevant to the ocean and land. Sentinel-4 and Sentinel-5 will provide data for atmospheric composition monitoring from geostationary and polar orbits, respectively.”

And here are a few of the other applications ESA foresees it would be useful for: sea-ice measurements, looking for oil spills, tracking ships, flagging land with “motion risks” and also doing mapping for the forestry industry.

As far as the webcast, there’s a schedule of speeches and events beforehand at the European Space Agency’s space operations center in Darmstadt, Germany. Be sure to tune in a bit earlier at 3:30 p.m. EST (7:30 p.m. UTC) to see the ceremonies.

Source: European Space Agency

About 

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

FarAwayLongAgo April 2, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Looking back down on Earth is not what motivates space enthusiasts. This blog should spend its space and time on looking outwards instead of inwards. Inwards won’t get humanity anywhere.

pahles April 2, 2014 at 4:00 PM

You are wrong: it doesn’t motivate you. Humanity should strive to understand itself first. If this blog doesn’t provide what you want, look for another one.

Aqua4U April 2, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Totally agree…

mewo April 2, 2014 at 9:00 PM

Agreed.

Amber Doig April 3, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Agreed.

SteveZodiac April 4, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Why not both?

Aqua4U April 2, 2014 at 6:55 PM

ESA rocks! Good luck and weather for this launch! This new constellation of satellites will be a welcome addition to ongoing climate research and should go a long way toward silencing those in denial about global warming.

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