Observation de la terre

Follow ESA's Earth observation missions as they are prepared for liftoff
  1. Be a part of Europe’s Earth observation revolution by applying to join experts at one of two Sentinel-3B launch #SocialSpace activities on 25 April. The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission is a constellation of two satellites and that’s why our SocialSpace event will double up this year: there will be not one, but two SocialSpace events, held simultaneously to follow the launch of Sentinel-3B. One will be at the ILA Berlin Air Show, and the other will be in ESA’s mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, the operational heart of ESA and the Sentinel missions. Are you passionate about our planet, about how satellites help us to understand our home planet and about sharing via social media? This time around, you get to choose between two special locations, where ESA will be pleased to host you for an exclusive programme that will include the latest information from experts in Copernicus and ESA Earth observation programmes. You may apply for both events but, if selected, you will be invited to one. In Darmstadt… Sentinel-3B #SocialSpace in Darmstadt will be held at ESA’s centre and Eumetsat, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, both within walking distance of the main train station. Invitees will have a behind-the-scenes experience of the launch, including an exclusive look at the mission control facilities and meeting some of the people with the science, engineering, applications and businesses expertise behind Copernicus, Europe’s most ambitious Earth observation programme ever. … and Berlin Sentinel-3B #SocialSpace in Berlin will be held in the Space Pavilion of the airshow. It will provide an exclusive space experience including cutting-edge information from science, technology, space exploration and Earth observation. You will be a special guest at the ESA launch event inside the pavilion, joining guests from Copernicus and Eumetsat as well as ESA’s own […]
  2. The Sentinel-3B shipment has now arrived safely at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome and the team has been busy getting everything into the facilities. The Antonov cargo aircraft left Nice, France, in the late evening on 15 March. The flight had been delayed a couple of days because of ice on the runway at Arkhangelsk. Such a heavy aircraft needs a particular ‘braking coefficient’ to land safely. After a stopover in Moscow to clear the paperwork, it was onto Arkhangelsk, where the weather had improved compared to the days before. Then the cargo, which included the container holding Sentinel-3B and a number of other containers of equipment needed to prepare the satellite for launch, was off-loaded and transferred by lorry to a train for the onward journey to Plesetsk. The team had to endure temperatures of –15°C but actually felt like –21°C with the wind-chill factor … and by the time they were done, around midnight, it had dropped to –22°C ….. that’s –29°C taking the wind chill into account ….brrrrrrr! In fact, people could only work outside for around 15 minutes at a time and had to have a five-minute break in the bus or train to warm up before going out again.  It was pretty tough. Once everything had been loaded onto the train, the team was pleased to get back to the hotel where the staff welcomed them with some much-appreciated hot soup. After being babysat – monitored – for 24 hours and the convoy thoroughly inspected by the railway authorities, the train left Arkhangelsk early on 18 March and arrived early later that day. Then with clear sunny skies, it was full steam ahead to get everything unloaded and into the launch facilities.     Since then the team have been busy unpacking the containers and preparing to […]
  3. Yesterday it was –5°C and snowed gently all day. This is a bit of a contrast to the sunny weather we had last weekend, and even bigger contrast to the weather in the south of France where our satellite is waiting to depart. There it’s a lovely 21°C. Anyway, in the morning it was time for the team to split up, some headed off on the bus to the launch site to complete the site inspection and further prepare the cleanrooms, while some of us caught the train for the four and a half hour journey to Archangelsk. Before leaving, the team made some calls and discussed the weather. The snow and cold affect the ‘braking coefficient’ of the big cargo aircraft. The weather is expected to worsen after Friday, so we need the plane to land before then. So the plan is for the satellite to leave Thales Alenia Space in Cannes this evening for Nice airport. It will then fly to Moscow on Thursday for customs clearance and on Arkhangelsk early Friday morning. Our train ride to Archangelsk was slow but steady, passing through a landscape of forests interspersed with small villages. Even though the journey is actually only 200 km, it somehow makes you realise what a vast country Russia is. Meanwhile, teams at ESA’s European Operations Centre in Germany have been working hard preparing for the day of liftoff and the days after. So, we are spread out between Cannes and Nice in France, Noordwijk in the Netherlands, Darmstadt in Germany, and Arkhangelsk and Plesetsk in Russia – all of us working hard to get the show on the road! From the ESA Sentinel-3Blaunch campaign team in Plesetsk Read more about the Sentinel-3 mission
  4. With the launch of the Copernicus Sentinel-3B set for 25 April, the first team has arrived at Russia’s Plesetsk launch site to prepare for the arrival of the satellite. Sentinel-3B has spent the last year at Thales Alenia Space’s premises in Cannes, France, being assembled and tested. And now, it is time for it to be shipped to Russia and prepared for liftoff. Its twin, Sentinel-3A, has been in orbit since February 2016, systematically measuring our oceans, land, ice and atmosphere. The information feeds a range of practical applications and is used for monitoring and understanding large-scale global dynamics. The pairing of identical satellites provides the best coverage and data delivery for Europe’s Copernicus programme – the largest environmental monitoring programme in the world. The Sentinel-3B satellite is scheduled to fly from Nice airport in France on 15 March bound for Moscow and then on to Arkhangelsk. From there it will be loaded onto a train for the final leg of the journey to the Plesetsk cosmodrome. All being well, it will arrive early on 17 March and moved into the facilities in the afternoon. Ahead of its eventual arrival in Plesetsk, a team of 19 people from ESA and Thales are already getting things ready at the launch site. Having been there since 9 March, they have been making sure the cleanroom is ready for the satellite, setting up the support equipment that is needed to test the satellite, and installing all the communication lines they need for the launch campaign. They have also been busy setting up the office spaces, sorting out furniture layout, phones etc. to make sure everything is up and running for the six-week long launch campaign. From the ESA Sentinel-3Blaunch campaign team in Plesetsk Read more about the Sentinel-3 mission
  5. This is in some ways a sad entry as it marks the end of the Sentinel-5P launch campaign – but really it marks the end of an extraordinary launch campaign, launch, ‘launch and early orbit phase’ and start of commissioning. For the last few of the launch campaign team members, the Antonov flew the last five and a half hour leg from Ulyanovsk to Stanstead in the UK. Bill found a new office on the plane. Once back at Stanstead, the cargo will be transported by road back to Airbus Defence and Space in Stevenage and the team can have a well-earned rest. For some of the team this is the end of 58 days away from home. For the operations team the science data has been downlinked and processed by the Payload Data Ground Segment stations. This again was a great success. This really has been an amazing week for all the team. From the ESA Sentinel-5P launch campaign team in Plesetsk Read more about Sentinel-5P