Sentinel-1B will be launched on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on 22 April 2016. It will join its identical twin, Sentinel-1A, in orbit to provide more radar views of Earth for Europe’s Copernicus environmental monitoring effort. Delivering vital information for numerous operational services, from monitoring ice in the polar oceans to tracking land subsidence, the Sentinel-1 mission plays a key role in Copernicus – the largest civil Earth-observation programme ever conceived. With the two satellites orbiting 180° apart, global coverage and data delivery are optimised for Copernicus services.
The launch also provides the opportunity to take three CubeSats into orbit. These are nanosatellites built by students as part of ESA’s educational Fly Your Satellite programme.