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N° 7–2017: Call for Media: Launch of Sentinel-2B satellite for Copernicus

27 February 2017

The second satellite in the Sentinel-2 mission for the EU’s Copernicus programme is set for launch from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana at 01:49 GMT 7 March (02:49 CET 7 March; 22:49 local time 6 March) aboard a Vega rocket.

Journalists are invited to join the social media and outreach event held at ESA’s mission operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

There, 100 selected social media players from all over Europe, official guests, ESA Earth observation experts and the new generation of Copernicus data users will mingle in a new, more informal and interactive setting. Next to a small event stage, exchanges will take place around four thematic corners on: ‘Land and food security’, ‘Space technology, operations and business trends’, ‘Sea and coastal areas’ and ‘Cities and society’.

In this new mission launch event spirit, everyone is invited to follow the event hashtag #Sentinel2Go and to join these debates on the leading channels (such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram).

Copernicus is headed by the European Commission in partnership with ESA. It provides accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change, and ensure land monitoring, emergency management and security.

The new fleet of Sentinel satellites are delivering a wealth of data and images that are central to the ambitious Copernicus programme.

The optical imaging Sentinel-2 mission is based on a constellation of two identical satellites: Sentinel-2A, which was launched in June 2015, and the upcoming Sentinel-2B. Although launched separately, the satellites will be placed in the same orbit, separated by 180°. Every five days, the satellites will jointly cover all land surfaces, large islands, and inland and coastal waters between latitudes 56°S and 84°N, optimising global coverage and data delivery for numerous applications.

The mission carries an innovative high-resolution multispectral camera with 13 spectral bands for a new perspective of land and vegetation. The combination of high-resolution, novel spectral capabilities, a field of vision covering 290 km and frequent revisit times will provide unprecedented views of Earth.

Among its applications, the mission provides information for agricultural practices, helping in the management of food security. It also maps the status and changes in land cover and monitors the world’s forests.

It also provides information on pollution in lakes and coastal waters. Images of floods, volcanic eruptions and landslides contribute to disaster mapping and helping in humanitarian relief efforts.

Sentinel-2 is equipped to benefit from another ESA programme, the European Data Relay System (EDRS). EDRS is creating a network of geostationary laser communication payloads for the continuous relay of low-orbit satellite data, and will enable the Sentinel’s Earth observation data to be transmitted faster than ever, using laser links.

The Sentinel-2 mission is the result of close collaboration between ESA, the European Commission, industry, service providers and data users. It is designed and built by a consortium of 60 companies led by Airbus Defence and Space.

Learn more about Sentinel-2 at: 


Learn more about Copernicus at: 


Covering the launch

SocialSpace early morning event at ESOC

100 selected social media players and young Earth observation enthusiasts will participate in the interactive event at ESOC. 

Doors open at 01:00 CET. As well as watching the launch, the main programme includes talks by  experts explaining the benefits of Copernicus.

The event ends at 04:00 CET, when breakfast will be served.  

The interactive launch event at ESOC will be webstreamed on ESA’s web site.

Media who want to participate in the event must register via:

For more information, please contact:
ESOC Corporate Communication Office
Tel: +49 6151 902516



ESA TV will provide video coverage through a partnership with Arianespace. Several stories have also been prepared on the mission and its technology. More information at:


Live webstream

ESA’s Portal will cover the launch live, providing the videostream and updates of the launch and event at ESOC at: and



The latest high-resolution images can be found at:

ESA’s Photo Library for Professionals:
Media image queries can be directed to



For a collection of videos, including interviews with key team members and animations, visit:


Social media

Follow the Sentinel-2B launch via social media channels:

Twitter: @ESA_EO, @esaoperations and @esa. The hashtags used are #Sentinel2Go and #Sentinel2

Blogs: ESA earth observation launch campaigns


Instagram &




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. Slovenia is an Associate Member.

ESA has established formal cooperation with six 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 as well as with EUMETSAT for the development of meteorological missions.

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. ESA also has a strong applications programme developing services in the Earth observation, navigation and telecommunications domain.

Learn more about ESA at


For further information, please contact:

ESA Media Relations Office

Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99