This time-lapse video shows Sentinel-1A being prepared for launch and its final lift off on 3 April 2014 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. It features a deployment test of the satellite’s 12-m long radar and shows the satellite being hoisted onto the Soyuz rocket’s Fregat upper stage followed by encapsulation within the fairing. This ‘upper composite’ is then transferred to the launch pad where it joins the rest of the Soyuz and then is launched into orbit around Earth.
This first Sentinel satellite carries an advanced radar to scan Earth’s surface in all weather conditions and regardless of whether it is day or night. Now in orbit, it will be used to care for many aspects of our environment, from detecting and tracking oil spills and mapping sea ice to monitoring movement in land surfaces and mapping changes in the way land is used.