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European radar satellite Sentinel-1A gets ready for launch


The Sentinel satellite. An ESA image

KOUROU (BNS): Europe's first radar Earth observation satellite, Sentinel-1A, is all set for launch onboard a Russian Soyuz rocket from the French Guiana space centre on Thursday.

As part of the European Space Agency's (ESA) ambitious Copernicus programme, Sentinel-1A is the first of a two-satellite mission that will image land and oceans using highly precise radar, enabling the pair to acquire imagery regardless of weather.

The spacecraft, carrying the C-SAR synthetic aperture radar, is scheduled to lift off from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 21:02 GMT.

The liftoff is set for a precise moment -- 6:02:26 pm local time in French Guiana -- initiating a 23-minute mission to deploy Sentinel-1A into a Sun-synchronous orbit.

The satellite has a liftoff mass estimated at 2,157 kg and a nominal design life of 7.25 years, Arianespace, which will conduct the mission, said.

The Sentinels are a family of satellites being developed by ESA to meet the needs of the services provided through the EU's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative.

Under the Copernicus programme, ESA plans to launch a constellation of six Sentinel satellites which will provide huge amounts of vital data ranging from land movements to ocean patterns, surface temperature to sea-surface topography and atmospheric monitoring.

These data will dramatically improve the management of the environment, help to understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security, ESA said.

Tags:

ESA  Satellite  Sentinel  Space  Soyuz  

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