The European Space Agency’s latest satellite is to be launched.
Sentinel 2-B will join its twin, Sentinel 2-A, in orbit to provide accurate images of the Earth for the Copernicus environmental monitoring programme.
The two satellites will be positioned at opposite sides of the planet, and will beam back pictures to scientists.
Sentinel 2-B will lift off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana.
Josef Aschbacher, Director of the ESA’s Earth Observation Programme, told Euronews: “The goal of the mission is to monitor the state of Planet Earth, and Sentinel 2 in particular observes the Earth’s surface – mostly at the land surface but also coastal areas to really get a good picture of our planet every five days with the satellites in orbit.”
Mr Aschbacher said the data will be made available online for anybody to download.
He said: “This is really a new feature which we have installed in the Corpernicus programme to really ensure that investments made in space by European taxpayers can be used by every European, but also people outside Europe.”
A shoutout from Kourou to all the #spacetweeps gathering at ESOC for #Sentinel2Go
social4space</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/esa">esa
ESA_EO</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VV09?src=hash">#VV09</a> <a href="https://t.co/lV3MtYasvN">pic.twitter.com/lV3MtYasvN</a></p>— Josef Aschbacher (AschbacherJosef) 6 mars 2017