Josef Aschbacher, head of ESA’s Earth observation programs, recently spoke with Spaceflight Now about the importance of the Sentinel 5P satellite mission designed for air quality measurements from space, and discussed increasing data usage from Europe’s Copernicus environmental network, and plans to expand the flagship Earth observation fleet.
A modified Russian missile built for nuclear war blasted off on a peaceful mission Friday, targeting placement of a European Earth observation satellite in orbit to measure atmospheric chemistry and global air quality. Liftoff from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia occurred at 0927 GMT (5:27 a.m. EDT).
Europe is in the midst of launching the most thorough space-based environmental network ever deployed, with satellites to help officials respond to natural disasters, measure crop yield, monitor the health of oceans and ice caps, and track ozone in the atmosphere. Guido Levrini from ESA spoke to Spaceflight Now about the program on the eve of Sentinel 1B’s launch.