Sentinel-3B launch preparations in full swing

March 23, 2018, European Space Agency
Following its arrival at Russia’s Plesetsk launch site, the Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite has been removed from its transport container. The satellite will now be prepared for liftoff, scheduled for 25 April 2018. Its identical twin, Sentinel-3A, has been in orbit since February 2016. The two-satellite constellation offers optimum global coverage and data delivery. The mission has been designed to measure systematically Earth’s oceans, land, ice and atmosphere to monitor and understand large-scale global dynamics. It will provide essential information in near-real time for ocean and weather forecasting. Credit: European Space Agency

With the Sentinel-3B satellite now at the Plesetsk launch site in Russia and liftoff set for 25 April, engineers are steaming ahead with the task of getting Europe's next Copernicus satellite ready for its journey into orbit.

After arriving at the on 18 March, the satellite has been taken out of its transport container and is being set up for testing.

Kristof Gantois, ESA's Sentinel-3 engineering manager, said, "The satellite's journey from France was hampered slightly by the freezing winter weather here in Russia, but it's now safe in the milder cleanroom environment.

"With the aid of a crane, our baby has been removed from its transport container. We have also been very busy unpacking the array of equipment we need to test the and make it ready to join its Rockot launcher."

Sentinel-3B will join 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.

Following its arrival at Russia’s Plesetsk launch site, the Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite has been removed from its transport container. The satellite will now be prepared for liftoff, scheduled for 25 April 2018. Its identical twin, Sentinel-3A, has been in orbit since February 2016. The two-satellite constellation offers optimum global coverage and data delivery. The mission has been designed to measure systematically Earth’s oceans, land, ice and atmosphere to monitor and understand large-scale global dynamics. It will provide essential information in near-real time for ocean and weather forecasting. Credit: European Space Agency

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, , and for tracking wildfires.

The Sentinel-3B will be lofted into orbit on a Rockot launcher on 25 April at 17:57 GMT (19:57 CEST).

Explore further: The heat is on for Sentinel-3B

Related Stories

The heat is on for Sentinel-3B

June 2, 2017

While the Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite is in orbit delivering a wealth of information about our home planet, engineers are putting its twin, Sentinel-3B, through a series of vigorous tests before it is shipped to the ...

Video: Sentinel-3A liftoff

February 17, 2016

Replay of the Sentinel-3A liftoff on a Rockot launcher from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 17:57 GMT (18:57 CET) on 16 February 2016.

Video: Sentinel-3A timelapse

March 3, 2016

This timelapse video shows Sentinel-3A, from final preparations to liftoff on a Rockot launcher from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia, at 17:57 GMT (18:57 CET) on 16 February 2016.

New era in air-quality monitoring a step away

September 5, 2017

The Sentinel-5P satellite has arrived in Plesetsk in northern Russia to be prepared for liftoff on 13 October. Built to deliver global maps of air pollutants every day and in more detail than ever before, this latest Copernicus ...

Image: Italy and the Mediterranean

March 9, 2018

The Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite carries a suite of state-of-the art sensors that deliver a wealth of information to monitor our changing world, but this image was captured with its ocean and land camera. With a swath-width ...

Sentinel-3A on its way

November 23, 2015

The latest satellite for the European Commission's Copernicus environmental programme has left France bound for the Plesetsk launch site in Russia and launch late next month.

Recommended for you

Unusual doughnut-shaped jet observed in the galaxy NGC 6109

August 15, 2018

Astronomers from the University of Bristol, U.K., have uncovered an unusual doughnut-shaped jet in the radio galaxy NGC 6109. It is the first time that such a jet morphology has been observed in a low-power radio galaxy. ...

Unraveling the stellar content of young clusters

August 14, 2018

About twenty-five percent of young stars in our galaxy form in clustered environments, and stars in a cluster are often close enough to each other to affect the way they accrete gas and grow. Astronomers trying to understand ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.