The Copernicus Programme: Sentinel-2A successfully launched into orbit

The Copernicus Programme: Sentinel-2A successfully launched into orbit

Sentinel-2A, the second satellite of the European environmental monitoring programme “Copernicus”, is now into orbit. Successfully launched on June 23 at 3.52 (CET) from the European spaceport at Kourou, in French Guyana, using an Arianespace VEGA carrier, Sentinel-2A will start soon the testing phase and after roughly three months it will start sending images to monitor the health conditions of the Planet


Copernicus, a programme coordinated and managed by the European Commission in cooperation with the European Space Agency and the European Environment Agency, with the goal to establish a European capacity for Earth Observation, providing accurate, timely and easily accessible information that enables the monitoring of the earth, marine and atmospheric environments, understanding and mitigating the effects of climate change and ensuring civil security. Finmeccanica plays a major role within the programme with its Space Alliance joint ventures Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio, along with Selex ES.


Sentinel-2A, is a polar-orbiting, multispectral satellite for high-resolution land monitoring. It is able to provide imagery of vegetation, soil and water cover, as well as providing information for emergency services. The first mission of the programme, Sentinel-1A, was launched on April 3, 2014.


The Matera Space Centre, managed by e-GEOS (a company controlled 80% by Telespazio and 20% by the Italian Space Agency), one of the three stations in the Copernicus program’s Core Ground Segment, is ready to start receiving data from the new satellite.


ESA is developing six families of Sentinel satellite missions specifically designed for the operational needs of the Copernicus programme. The Sentinels will provide high-resolution radar and optical images of our planet. 


Telespazio is part of the consortium of European industries supplying the Payload Ground Segment (PDGS) of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3, along with Telespazio VEGA Deutschland, and is responsible for the design, development, integration and validation of the entire segment, as well as putting into operation the Centre for processing and storing data for both missions.


More specifically, the subsidiary Telespazio VEGA Deutschland will be providing the European Space Centre ESOC with support on Flight control, Flight Dynamics and ground segment engineering for Sentinel-2A, contributing to the software development for data processing.


Telespazio also participates at the development of the Mission Control System of Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3, Sentinel-5 Precursor, under the framework agreement for the software development of ground systems for ESOC, ESA's Space Operations Centre. Finally, Telespazio provides support to the operations of the Control Centre during the pre and post launch of the Sentinel satellites.


Thales Alenia Space is prime contractor for the building of Sentinel-2A’s Payload Data Ground Segment (S2-PDGS), while it is also responsible, as prime contractor, of the design, development, integration and testing of the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3 missions constellations

Rome 23/06/2015