Time to pack up

After six months of being rigorously tested at IABG’s facilities in Germany, the Sentinel-2A satellite has been placed in the container that will keep it safe during transit to Europe’s Spaceport near Kourou in French Guiana.

Shipment container being lowered over Sentinel-2A at IABG in Germany. (ESA–L. Cane)

Shipment container being lowered over Sentinel-2A at IABG in Germany. (ESA–L. Cane)

The satellite will have one final test, a ‘leak test’, in the container to ensure its propulsion system is tight before departure from Munich on 20 April.

Sentinel-2A has left the building. (ESA–L. Cane)

Sentinel-2A has left the building. (ESA–L. Cane)

Once unloaded and unpacked, it will spend the following weeks being prepared for liftoff on a Vega rocket on 11 June at 22:52 (local time), 12 June at 03:52 (CEST).

Offering ‘colour vision’ for the European Commission’s environmental monitoring Copernicus programme, Sentinel-2A combines high-resolution and novel multispectral capabilities – a first for ESA.

With a 290 km-wide coverage path and frequent revisits, Sentinel-2 will deliver views of Earth’s vegetation and changing lands in unprecedented detail and accuracy.

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