Posted on January 9, 2017 by Honora
Campaign to launch Sentinel-2B begins
The second Sentinel-2 satellite, Sentinel-2B, has arrived at Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Here, engineers will prepare it for liftoff, which is planned for 7 March at 02:49 CET (6 March 22:49 local time).
Offering ‘colour vision’ for Europe’s environmental monitoring Copernicus programme, Sentinel-2 combines high-resolution, novel multispectral capabilities and a 290 km-wide swath to monitor Earth’s changing lands in unprecedented detail and accuracy.
The mission is based on a constellation of two identical satellites, Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-2B, launched separately. Sentinel-2A was launched on 23 June 2015 and soon will be joined by its twin. Orbiting 180° apart, they will cover all Earth’s land surfaces, large islands, inland and coastal waters between 84°N and 56°S every five days, optimising global coverage and data delivery for numerous applications.
The Sentinel-2B satellite left ESA’s facilities in the Netherlands on 5 January headed for Cologne–Bonn airport in Germany. Here the satellite container and supporting equipment were loaded onto an Antonov aircraft.
Teams from ESA and Airbus Defence & Space were already in Kourou ready and waiting to unload the aircraft when it arrived in the early hours of 6 January.
Sealed in its special air-conditioned transport container, the satellite was carefully unloaded along with three other containers of support equipment. A convoy of lorries then drove the precious cargo to Europe’s Spaceport near Kourou, about 60 km away.
The satellite was left in its container over the weekend, but is being opened today so that work can begin preparing it for launch.
Meanwhile the hydrazine and equipment needed for fuelling is being shipped by sea and due to arrive at the port of Degrad des Cannes on 11 January.
Read more about Sentinel-2: www.esa.int/sentinel2