Lift-off for Sentinel-5P!
13 October 2017
This morning ESA successfully launched a new satellite! Called Sentinel-5P, it blasted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 11:27 CEST. The 79-minute journey went well, and Sentinel-5P was delivered safely into orbit around Earth.
The satellite then unfolded its solar panels and began communicating with scientists on Earth. The first signals were received as it passed over an ESA station in Kiruna, Sweden. The news was good: everything had gone to plan and Sentinel-5P was working well.
ESA teams are now carefully checking all of the satellite’s systems to ensure they are fully operational. In a few weeks, tests will begin on Sentinel-5P’s main instrument, called Tropomi. This will be used to examine Earth’s atmosphere, detecting gases such as carbon monoxide and aerosols. Some of these gases are caused by pollution, and affect our health. This is Sentinel-5P’s main mission, and Tropomi will help it to succeed!
ESA’s Director General, Jan Woerner, was very happy with the launch. He said, “The Sentinel-5P satellite is now safely in orbit so it is up to our mission control teams to steer this mission into its operational life and maintain it for the next seven years or more.”
Sentinel-5P is part of a whole family of Sentinel satellites orbiting Earth. They each have a different specialty, such as watching oceans, land, and air. Working together they help us to check the health of planet Earth, and all of us that live on it!
Cool fact: Sentinel-5P weighs 820kg and is about the size of a car.