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N° 6–2018: Call for Media: Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite launch event

18 April 2018

Completing the constellation of the first set of Sentinel missions, the launch of Sentinel-3B marks an important milestone for Europe’s Copernicus programme led by the European Commission. With the satellite scheduled to liftoff from Russia’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome on 25 April at 17:57 GMT (19:57 CEST), media representatives are invited to follow this landmark event at the ILA Berlin Air Show or at ESA’s Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

Sentinel-3B is the seventh Sentinel satellite to be launched for Copernicus. Each mission carries state-of-the-art technology to deliver the stream of complementary imagery and data that are central to this unique environmental monitoring programme.

In orbit it will join its identical twin, Sentinel-3A, which was launched in 2016. This pairing of satellites provides the best coverage and data delivery for Copernicus. The two Sentinel-1 radar satellites and two Sentinel-2 optical satellites operate in a similar way. Sentinel-5P is unique in the Copernicus constellation in that it is a single-satellite mission, but its extremely wide swath covers Earth every 24 hours.

Carrying a suite of cutting-edge instruments, Sentinel-3 is arguably the most complex of all the Sentinel missions – offering a bigger picture for Copernicus.

With a focus on our oceans, Sentinel-3 measures the temperature, colour and height of the sea surface as well as the thickness of sea ice. These measurements are used, for example, to monitor changes in sea level, marine pollution and biological productivity. Over land, this innovative mission provides information to monitor wildfires, map the way land is used, observe vegetation state and measure the height of rivers and lakes – complementing the high-resolution measurements of its Sentinel-2 sister mission.

The mission is the result of close collaboration between ESA, the European Commission, EUMETSAT, France’s CNES space agency, industry, service providers and data users. The satellites were designed and built by a consortium of around 100 companies under the leadership of Thales Alenia Space, France.

ESA TV will broadcast the launch live on ESA’s web site, together with expert commentary.

Broadcasters can find more information on this, as well as more material on

For the latest news and information on this mission, visit

The Twitter hashtag to follow is #Sentinel3


The launch event at the Space Pavilion, ILA Berlin Air Show

Since Sentinel-3B is scheduled to liftoff on 25 April – in the same week as ILA, so this huge air show offers the ideal opportunity for media representatives to take advantage of both events. The launch event is being hosted by ESA, the EC and EUMETSAT. Doors open at 18:15 CEST,liftoff is scheduled for 19:57 CEST.

Addresses by ESA’s Director General, the chair of DLR’s executive board and high-level representatives from the European Commission and EUMETSAT will start the event. Experts will provide an overview on the socio-economic impact of Copernicus and the concrete use of Sentinel-3 data for ocean and land monitoring.

Media can register here to attend the launch event at ILA: 

Interested media who cannot attend the event at ILA in Berlin are welcome to follow the launch from ESA's operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Please register by 24 April 2018 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 Earth observation, navigation and telecommunications.

Learn more about ESA at

For further information, please contact:
ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99