Two Rocket Launches Yesterday Provided Double The Space Fun

The successful liftoff of Sentinel-1A in April 2014. Credit: ESA-S.Corvaja, 2014

And we have liftoff — two times over! Launch fans got a double treat yesterday when two space missions successfully left Earth. First came a morning launch at 10:46 a.m. Eastern (2:46 p.m. UTC) when¬†DMSP-19 (a satellite of the¬†Defense Meteorological Satellite Program) took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. You can watch the replay below the jump.

“The satellite launched today is equipped with a sophisticated sensor suite that can capture visible and infrared cloud cover; measure precipitation, surface temperature and soil moisture; and collect specialized global meteorological, oceanographic and solar-geophysical information in all weather conditions. DMSP-19 joins six other satellites in polar orbit providing weather information,” stated Lockheed Martin, the long-standing prime contractor of the program.

And just above this paragraph is the French Guiana launch of Sentinel-1A, the first half of a pair of environmental monitoring satellites that should show the Earth in high-definition to the European Space Agency and customers. Then below the jump you can see the successful separation of Sentinel-1A in space. The launch took place at 5:02 p.m. Eastern (9:02 p.m. UTC).