France: The ESA-developed Sentinel-3A satellite was launched on Tuesday. The third ESA-developed satellite was carrying four Earth-observing instruments with it. According to ESA, the satellite will provide a ‘bigger picture’ for Europe’s Copernicus environment programme. Weighing 1150 kg, the satellite was carried into orbit on a Rocket launcher from Russia, at 17:57 GMT (18:57 CET; 20:57 local time)
After the launch and the early orbit phase of three days, controllers will begin checking that all the satellite elements are working and subsequently calibrate the instruments to commission the satellite. The mission is expected to begin operations in five months.
“With the successful launch of Sentinel-3 we are now looking forward to how our teams of experts will steer this mission into its operational life – like they have done the first two satellites of the series,” said ESA Director General Jan Woerner. Sentinel-3B, its twin satellite, is scheduled for launch next year. Data from all the Sentinels are used worldwide and are free of charge for all users.