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Waspie_Dwarf

Europe lofts first Copernicus satellite

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Europe lofts first Copernicus environmental satellite

3 April 2014 The ability of European citizens, policymakers and service providers to access key environmental data on a routine basis will take a major step forward following the launch today of ESA’s Sentinel-1A satellite.

The 2.3 tonne satellite lifted off on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 21:02 GMT (23:02 CEST). The first stage separated 118 sec later, followed by the fairing (209 sec), stage 2 (287 sec) and the upper assembly (526 sec).

After a 617 sec burn, the Fregat upper stage delivered Sentinel into a Sun-synchronous orbit at 693 km altitude. The satellite separated from the upper stage 23 min 24 sec after liftoff.

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Sentinel-1A liftoff

Replay of the Sentinel-1A liftoff on a Soyuz launcher from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana at 21:02 GMT (23:02 CEST) on 3 April 2014.

Sentinel-1A is the first in a fleet of ESA satellites poised to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are central to Europe's Copernicus programme.

Designed as a two-satellite constellation -- Sentinel-1A and -1B -- the Sentinel-1 mission uses an advanced radar instrument to provide an all-weather, day-and-night supply of imagery of Earth's surface. The data will benefit numerous services, including the monitoring of Arctic sea-ice extent, the surveillance of the marine environment, the monitoring of land surface for motion risks and mapping to support humanitarian aid and crisis situations.

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace

Source: ESA - Space in Videos

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Separation in space

This superb footage was acquired by cameras on the Soyuz Fregat upper stage that released Sentinel-1 into orbit on 3 April 2014. It shows the Sentinel-1 satellite separating from the Fregat to start its life in orbit around Earth.

The 2.3 tonne satellite lifted off on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 21:02 GMT (23:02 CEST). The first stage separated 118 sec later, followed by the fairing (209 sec), stage 2 (287 sec) and the upper assembly (526 sec). After a 617 sec burn, the Fregat upper stage delivered Sentinel into a Sun-synchronous orbit at 693 km altitude. The satellite separated from the upper stage 23 min 24 sec after liftoff.

Sentinel-1 is the first in the family of satellites for Europe’s Copernicus programme. It carries an advanced radar to scan Earth’s surface in all weather conditions and regardless of whether it is day or night. This new mission will be used to care for many aspects of our environment, from detecting and tracking oil spills and mapping sea ice to monitoring movement in land surfaces and mapping changes in the way land is used.

Credit: Arianespace/ESA/Roscosmos

Source: ESA - Space in Videos

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Sentinel-1 performs opening dance routine

4 April 2014 Following its launch yesterday, Sentinel-1A has performed a carefully choreographed 10-hour dance routine to open its large radar antenna and solar wings.

During the launch, the 12 m-long radar and two 10 m-long solar wings were folded up to fit into the protective Soyuz rocket fairing.

After being lofted to 693 km above Earth and released into orbit, the satellite gently ‘tumbled’ to stabilise before embarking on its elaborate dance routine.

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