Sentinel satellites to stand watch over Earth
9 June 2015
It’s incredible to think that despite how empty the clear blue sky looks on a sunny day, there are actually thousands of big, metal satellites flying around our planet!
These invisible workers do all kinds of important jobs, from allowing to keep in touch with our families and friends to helping us understand our planet better.
One fleet of satellites is called the Sentinels. A sentinel is a guard or soldier whose job is to stand watch and keep us safe. And the Sentinel satellites will do just that!
Working together they will explore our home planet, from the seas to the skies. The data they send back will help us tackle all kinds of environmental problems, both natural and man-made.
The Sentinel family is still growing. The first satellite was launched last year, and later this month it will welcome a new member, Sentinel-2A. This satellite will be one of a pair called Sentinel-2. The first one will be launched into orbit on 23 June and the second satellite called Sentinel-2B will join it next year.
Sentinel-2 will carry a very powerful camera that will give the fleet colour vision. The two satellites will work together to study plant life and water on Earth’s surface. The data collected will help us improve farming so we can grow more food and show us which water is safe to drink.
Sentinel-2 will also monitor our shrinking forests and growing cities. They will help us figure out where outbreaks of disease are likely to happen, or tell people where to go during emergency situations. This will help us protect the land and people of our precious world.
Cool Fact: Sentinel-2A will orbit twice as high above Earth as the International Space Station!