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N° 9–2014: Call for Media: Launch of the first Sentinel satellite

25 March 2014

The first satellite of Europe’s Copernicus programme is set for launch from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on 3 April at 21:02 GMT (23:02 CEST). Media representatives are invited to follow the launch online or attend the main launch event at ESA’s ESOC operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

The Sentinels, a new fleet of ESA satellites, are poised to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are central to the EU’s Copernicus programme.

By offering a set of key information services for a broad range of applications, this global monitoring programme is a step change in the way we manage our environment, understand and tackle the effects of climate change, and safeguard everyday lives.

The first in the series, Sentinel-1A, carries an advanced radar to provide an all-weather, day-and-night supply of imagery of Earth’s surface.

As a future constellation of two satellites (Sentinel-1A and -1B), the mission will scan every place on Earth every six days and will transmit data to ground stations around the world for rapid dissemination.

The mission will benefit numerous services. For example, services that relate to the monitoring of Arctic sea-ice extent, routine sea-ice mapping, surveillance of the marine environment, including oil-spill monitoring and ship detection for maritime security, monitoring land surface for motion risks, mapping for forest, water and soil management, and mapping to support humanitarian aid and crisis situations.

Sentinel-1 is the result of close collaboration between ESA, the European Commission, industry, service providers and data users. Designed and built by a consortium of around 60 companies led by Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defence and Space, it is an outstanding example of Europe’s technological excellence.

For the latest news and information on this mission, visit



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


In cooperation with Arianespace, ESA TV will provide broadcasters with live satellite relay or live videostream of the launch. Details at:

Several  articles are also available explaining Sentinel, the mission and the technology. Find them at: or at:

Still images

The latest high-resolution still images of Sentinel-1 can be found at:

- Multi-Media Gallery:

- ESA’s Photo Library for Professionals:

Media image queries can be directed to

Launch event at ESOC operations centre

Doors open at 20:00 CEST. After refreshments and a light buffet, ESA managers, representatives from the European Commission and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will, together with experts on the socio-economic impact of Copernicus, prepare for the launch.

Media should register by 28 March at:

Any last-minute change in the launch date will be announced as a recorded message at +49 (0)6151 90 2609, on our website at: and via Twitter @ESA_EO

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. It 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 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Den-mark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU.

ESA has Cooperation Agreements with eight other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

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.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it 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.

For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office, Communication Department

Tel: + 33 1 53 69 72 99