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N° 20–2017: Call for Media: Launch of Sentinel-5P satellite for Copernicus

25 September 2017

The next satellite of Europe’s Copernicus programme is set for launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia on 13 October at 09:27 GMT
(11:27 CEST). Media representatives are invited to follow the launch at the main event at ESA’s Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

The Sentinels are a fleet of satellites designed to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are central to the European Commission’s Copernicus programme.

This unique environmental monitoring programme is providing a step change in the way we view and manage our environment, understand and tackle the effects of climate change and safeguard everyday lives.

Sentinel-5 Precursor – also known as Sentinel-5P – is the first Copernicus mission dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere. The satellite carries the state-of-the-art Tropomi instrument to map a multitude of trace gases such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and aerosols – all of which affect the air we breathe and therefore our health, and our climate.

With a swath width of 2600 km, it will map the entire planet every day. Information from this new mission will be used through the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service for air quality forecasts and for decision-making.

The mission will also contribute to services such as volcanic ash monitoring for aviation safety and for services that warn of high levels of UV radiation, which can cause skin damage.

In addition, scientists will also use the data to improve our knowledge of important processes in the atmosphere related to the climate and to the formation of holes in the ozone layer.

Sentinel-5P was developed to reduce data gaps between the Envisat satellite – in particular the Sciamachy instrument – and the launch of Sentinel-5, and to complement GOME-2 on MetOp.

In the future, both the geostationary Sentinel-4 and polar-orbiting Sentinel-5 missions will monitor the composition of the atmosphere for Copernicus Atmosphere Services. Both missions will be carried on meteorological satellites operated by Eumetsat.

Until then, the Sentinel-5P mission will play a key role in monitoring and tracking air pollution.

Sentinel-5P is the result of close collaboration between ESA, the European Commission, the Netherlands Space Office, industry, data users and scientists. The mission has been designed and built by a consortium of 30 companies led by Airbus Defence and Space UK and NL.

For the latest news and information on this mission, visit

The Twitter hashtag to follow is #Sentinel5P

Launch event at ESA’s Space Research and Technology Centre

10:00   Doors open

10:30   Welcome by Jan Woerner, Director General of ESA

Introduction by Josef Aschbacher, Director of ESA Earth Observation Programmes

Addresses by representatives from the European Commission, the Netherlands Space Office and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

Talks from experts about what Sentinel-5P will deliver and the social and economic benefits the mission will bring

Live coverage from the launch pad in Plesetsk, Russia, and live transmission from ESA’s European Space Operations Centre, in Darmstadt, Germany

11:27     Liftoff from Plesetsk

11:35    Lunch

12:45   Live coverage of satellite separation, solar panel deployment and acquisition of first signal

Media should register at

by 10 October .

Information on how to get to ESTEC: 




ESA TV will provide broadcasters with live satellite relay or live videostream of the launch from Plesetsk. Video material is available in the video archive.

Details at:


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

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

Still images

The images from the mission can be found at:

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:
ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99