A new European satellite has been launched with powerful image-taking capabilities designed to improve the monitoring of natural disasters and global food crops.
Developed by the European Space Agency, the Sentinel-2A was sent up on a Vega rocket from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana.
It should enhance the work of the European Union Copernicus environmental monitoring system.
The first satellite, launched last year, has radars capable of tracking environmental developments on Earth.
Sentinel-2A has equipment designed to capture a wider range of colours at higher resolution, including infra-red imaging said to be good for monitoring vegetation.
It’s hoped the technology may help predict poor harvests and warn of potential famine.
A twin satellite, Sentinel-2B, is due to be launched next year.