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Friday Morning Marked the Beginning of ‘A New Era in Earth Observation’

The European Space Agency said Friday it has successfully launched the first in a series of satellites.  This could be the beginning of a new era.

Friday Morning Marked the Beginning of ‘A New Era in Earth Observation’

Image courtesy of redorbit.com

Image courtesy of redorbit.com

The Sentinel-1A satellite, which lifted off on a Russian Soyuz rocket launched from French Guiana late Thursday night.  The satellite then embarked on an elaborate dance routine as it unfolded its antennae and locked into place.  The entire choreographed sequence took around 10 hours to complete.  Friday morning the satellite was said to have been accurately placed into orbit.

The Sentinel-1A satellite is one of six scheduled to launch in the coming years.  The satellites will serve as the nucleus of the Copernicus monitoring system.  The system’s mission is to provide better and quicker information on natural disasters and other catastrophes.

The satellites will notify and monitor disasters including oil spills at sea, assisting in ship routing, and providing information on forest fires, landslides, floods and volcanic eruptions.

The Sentinel-1A will initially communicate directly with ground stations based in Europe.

Francois Auque, head of space systems for Airbus Defense and Space, which developed Sentinel-1A’s radar, called the launch the beginning of a “new era in Earth observation.”

“With the satellite’s powerful radar instrument — the heart of the mission — and its all-weather and round-the-clock capabilities, Airbus Defense and Space is making a decisive contribution to even more effective operational Earth observation that will benefit humans and nature more than ever,” Auque said. “The instrument will also deliver unprecedented data to scientists.”

Friday Morning Marks the Beginning of ‘A New Era in Earth Observation’

Facts of this article were contributed by Associated Press.

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