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N° 40–2016: Call for Media: Last look at second ‘colour vision’ satellite

9 November 2016

ESA and the European Commission together with Airbus Defence and Space are inviting media to view the Sentinel-2B satellite at ESA’s site in the Netherlands on 15 November.

Media are invited to see this state-of-the-art satellite in the cleanroom before being packed up and shipped to French Guiana for its spring launch. Project managers and specialists will explain how the Sentinel-2 mission is improving our ability to monitor the health of Earth’s vegetation and track changes in the way land is used.

Offering ‘colour vision’ for Europe’s environmental monitoring Copernicus programme, Sentinel-2 combines high-resolution and novel multispectral capabilities to monitor Earth’s changing lands in unprecedented detail and accuracy.

Sentinel-2 is designed as a two-satellite constellation: Sentinel-2A and -2B. Sentinel-2A was launched on 23 June 2015 and has been providing routine imagery for the EU Copernicus Land Monitoring Service, among others. Once Sentinel-2B is launched and operational, the constellation will offer a global revisit every five days.

Information from this mission is helping to improve agricultural practices, monitor the world’s forest, detect pollution in lakes and coastal waters, and contribute to disaster mapping, to name a few.

The satellite was built by an industrial consortium led by prime contractor Airbus Defence and Space in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

Sentinel-2B will be launched in spring 2017 on a Vega rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

The 15 November press event and visit to the cleanroom at ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, will include briefings by representatives from ESA, Airbus DS, application specialists and the European Commission.


10:30 Welcome and Introduction

Josef Aschbacher
ESA’s director of Earth observation programmes

Andras Roboz
Policy officer, Copernicus unit,
European Commission

Michael Menking 
VP Earth Observation, Navigation and Science, Airbus DS, Germany

10:50 Sentinel-2B status and progress

Francois Spoto
ESA Sentinel-2 Project Manager

Gunn Schweickert
Sentinel-2 Satellite Project Manager,
Airbus Defence & Space, Germany

11:05 Data use and application examples from Sentinel-2A and the future with Sentinel-2B

Chris Steenmans
European Environment Agency

Bianca Hoersch
ESA Sentinel-2B mission manager

11:30 Question & Answers

12:00 Visit to ESA test centre & cleanroom

13:00 Buffet lunch & interview possibilities


For further information, please contact:

ESTEC Communication Office

Anna Jacobs


About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of which 20 are Member States of the EU.

ESA has established formal cooperation with seven other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

Learn more about ESA at

For further information, please contact:


ESA Media Relations Office

Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99