Josef Aschbacher and Philippe Brunet reflect on the Sentinel-3B launch

With the launch of Sentinel-3B on 25 April 2018, ESA has handed over another Sentinel satellite to the EC for its Copernicus environmental monitoring programme. ESA’s Josef Aschbacher and the EC’s Philippe Brunet talk about how this latest launch completes the first batch of missions for Copernicus and how the two organisations work together to provide the best space technologies for monitoring our planet. With this sustained collaboration, ESA and the EC are now also looking to the future to develop new state-of-the-art satellite missions to further benefit the environment, the economy and everyday lives.

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Gaia: Anthony Brown interview at ILA Berlin 2018

The second data release of ESA’s Gaia satellite, based on the observation of nearly 1.7 billion stars, was published on 25 April 2018 during a media briefing at the ILA Berlin Air and Space Show in Germany. 
Anthony Brown of Leiden University, chair of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium Executive, explains the content of this unprecedented dataset, including positions, distance indicators and motions of more than one billion stars, along with high-precision measurements of other celestial objects in the Solar System and beyond our Galaxy. Gaia’s extraordinary data will greatly advance our understanding of stars in the Milky Way, and how the Galaxy formed and evolves.

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Sentinel-3B liftoff

The second Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite, Sentinel-3B, lifted off on a Rockot from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 17:57 GMT (19:57 CEST) on 25 April 2018. Sentinel-3B joins its twin, Sentinel-3A, in orbit. The pairing of identical satellites provides the best coverage and data delivery for Europe’s Copernicus programme – the largest environmental monitoring programme in the world.

The satellites carry the same suite of cutting-edge instruments to measure oceans, land, ice and atmosphere. While these data are fed primarily into the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service, all the Copernicus services benefit to produce knowledge and information products in near-real time for a wide range of applications. The Sentinel-3 mission is essential for applications for ocean and coastal monitoring, numerical weather and ocean prediction, sea-level change and sea-surface topography monitoring, ocean primary production estimation and land-cover change mapping. 

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Sentinel-3B liftoff

The second Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite, Sentinel-3B, lifted off on a Rockot from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 17:57 GMT (19:57 CEST) on 25 April 2018. Sentinel-3B joins its twin, Sentinel-3A, in orbit. The pairing of identical satellites provides the best coverage and data delivery for Europe’s Copernicus programme – the largest environmental monitoring programme in the world.

The satellites carry the same suite of cutting-edge instruments to measure oceans, land, ice and atmosphere. While these data are fed primarily into the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service, all the Copernicus services benefit to produce knowledge and information products in near-real time for a wide range of applications. The Sentinel-3 mission is essential for applications for ocean and coastal monitoring, numerical weather and ocean prediction, sea-level change and sea-surface topography monitoring, ocean primary production estimation and land-cover change mapping. 

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Sentinel-3B rocket in the launch tower

Three hours before launch on the 25 April 2018, the Rockot launcher with Sentinel-3B is undergoing the last preparations before liftoff from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Russia.Once safely in orbit and fully commissioned, this new satellite will begin its mission to map Earth’s oceans and land surfaces. Its identical twin, Sentinel-3A, has been in orbit since February 2016. The two-satellite constellation offers optimum global coverage and data delivery for Europe’s Copernicus environment programme.

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Sentinel-3B liftoff replay

The second Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite, Sentinel-3B, lifted off on a Rockot from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 17:57 GMT (19:57 CEST) on 25 April 2018. Sentinel-3B joins its twin, Sentinel-3A, in orbit. The pairing of identical satellites provides the best coverage and data delivery for Europe’s Copernicus programme – the largest environmental monitoring programme in the world. The satellites carry the same suite of cutting-edge instruments to measure oceans, land, ice and atmosphere. Feeding a new generation of data products, the Sentinel-3 mission is at the heart of operational oceanography. For example, it provides measurements to monitor aquatic biological productivity and marine pollution, to map sea-level change and to forecast the sea state for efficient and safe ship routeing. As well as measuring the oceans, the mission also delivers unique and timely information about changing land cover, vegetation, urban heat islands, and for tracking wildfires.

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ILA 2018 opening tour

ESA Director General Jan Wörner welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Space Pavilion at ILA, the Berlin Air and Space Show, on 25 April 2018. 

The Space Pavilion features a wealth of ESA and German national programmes across all space domains, focusing on recent mission results and upcoming launches.

ILA is one of the world’s largest aerospace trade shows, bringing together the international aerospace community, industry, space agencies and trade visitors interested in discovering the latest aerospace developments and new business opportunities.

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Gaia second data release – replay

Replay of ESA's 'Science is everywhere' media briefing at the Berlin Air and Space Show in Germany, on 25 April 2018. The highlight of the session was the reveal of the Gaia mission's second data release. Gaia is an ESA mission to survey more than one billion stars of our Galaxy and its local neighbourhood in order to build the most precise 3D map of the Milky Way and answer questions about its structure, origin and evolution.

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Gaia second data release

The second data release of ESA’s Gaia mission has produced an extraordinary catalogue of over one and a half billion stars in our galaxy. Based on observations between July 2014 to May 2016, it includes the most accurate information yet on the positions, brightness, distance, motion, colour and temperature of stars in the Milky Way as well as information on asteroids and quasars.

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