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N° 18–2019: Call for Media: Last glimpse of the Sentinel-6 satellite

4 November 2019

The Copernicus Sentinel-6 satellite, which will measure sea-level rise and ice thickness, will be available for a last visit in the cleanroom before it is further tested and prepared for launch in late 2020 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Media representatives are invited to join us at the IABG space test centre in Ottobrunn, near Munich, Germany, on 15 November at 09:00 CET.

The partners of the Copernicus Sentinel-6 project – ESA, the European Commission, Eumetsat, NASA, NOAA, Airbus and CNES – would be delighted to see you and discuss first-hand details regarding the mission. An interesting programme has been put together specifically for the day, and experts from the team will be available for detailed questions and interviews.

Copernicus is headed by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with ESA. The EC, acting on behalf of the European Union, is responsible for the overall initiative, setting requirements and managing services. Eumetsat will operate the satellite and generate and deliver the products. NASA and NOAA are contributing the microwave radiometer, the Laser retroreflector and the GNSS-RO receiver. Airbus has the industry lead on the project, with IABG responsible for the testing of the satellite.

Looking at sea-level rise


Between 1993 and 2018, the global sea level rose 3.2 mm every year on average. This rate has been accelerating over the last few years and is only expected to grow further.

To be able to keep a closer eye on sea level, permanent observations are needed over the world’s oceans. Because of the vast size of the oceans which cover 70% of Earth, this can only be achieved by using satellites from space.

For this purpose, Copernicus Sentinel-6 carries a radar altimeter as its main sensor. The instrument is best suited to observe sea levels and the thickness of ice in the polar regions. Additionally, the satellite carries several instruments for navigation, as well as to observe water vapour.

Sentinel-6 will map up to 95% of Earth’s oceans every 10 days.

Global sea-level measurements have so far been supplied by a fleet of satellites, which include the French–US Topex-Poseidon and Jason missions, previous ESA missions such as the ERS satellites, Envisat and CryoSat, as well as the Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite.

Event programme

09:00 Welcome Rudolf Schwarz
09:05 Copernicus –
benefiting European citizens
Astrid-Christina Koch
Senior Expert, European Commission
09:15 Copernicus space component –
achievements and next steps
Josef Aschbacher
Director of Earth Observation Programmes, ESA
09:25 Sentinel-6 –
The users’ perspective
Alain Ratier
Director-General, Eumetsat
09:35 Sentinel-6 –
NASA’s perspective
Sandra Cauffman
Acting Director the Earth Science Division, NASA
09:45 What European Cooperation can achieve Philippe Pham
Director EO, Navigation & Science, Airbus
09:55 The Sentinel-6 mission Pierrik Vuilleumier/Klaus-Peter Köble
Project manager, ESA/Project manager, Airbus
10:05 Mission objectives and applications Benoit Meyssignac
LEGOS, France
10:15 Sentinel-6 in Copernicus Antonio Reppucci
Questions and answers
Visits to cleanroom (Photo and interview opportunities in cleanroom)
12:30 Lunch and further interview opportunities
14:00 End of event

Media registration


Please register by 13 November at including the information from the accreditation form (below). A valid ID card or passport is mandatory to enter the event. To enter the cleanroom, wearing of long trousers and sturdy shoes are compulsory. The event will take place at IABG, Einsteinstrasse 20, D-85521 Ottobrunn, Germany.

Photographs will be taken during this event. Please let us know if you do not want to be photographed.

Accreditation form

First Name: ________________________

Surname: _________________________

Nationality: ________________________

Passport No.:  ______________________

Issued by: _________________________

Valid until:  ________________________

Media: ____________________________

Address: __________________________

Tel: ______________________________

Email: ____________________________

Further information


More information about Copernicus Sentinel-6 and sea-level rise:


Terms and conditions for using ESA images:

For questions or more information related to ESA images, please contact directly


Terms and conditions for using ESA videos:

For questions or more information related to ESA videos, please contact directly

Social media

Follow ESA and Copernicus Sentinel-6 via @esa @esa_eo

The hashtag to be used is #Sentinel6

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 seven 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:

ESA Newsroom and Media Relations


Tel: +496151902285