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Second 'colour vision' satellite for Copernicus launched

07 March 2017

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The ESA-developed Sentinel-2B satellite was launched on 07 March, doubling the coverage of high-resolution optical imaging in the Sentinel-2 mission for the European Union Copernicus environmental monitoring system.

The 1.1 tonne satellite was carried into orbit on a Vega rocket from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 01:49 GMT on 7 March (02:49 CET; 22:49 local time, 6 March).

After this first 'launch and early orbit' phase, which typically lasts three days, controllers will begin checking and calibrating the instruments to commission the satellite. The mission is expected to begin operations in three to four months.

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First Sentinel-2B images delivered by laser

 12 June 2017

With the Sentinel-2B satellite close to beginning its working life in orbit, this latest Copernicus satellite has linked up to Alphasat by laser, across almost 36 000 km of space, to deliver images of Earth just moments after they were captured.
maltaSentinel-2 lasers
The test, which was done as part of Sentinel-2B's commissioning, included capturing a strip of images from Europe to North Africa.