At 21:02 GMT last April 3 saw the launch of the first satellite of the eight that make up the "Copernicus", the largest earth observation network ever deployed that will monitor sea, sky and land program. Sentinel-1A slick off from Kourou and successfully completed its early stage of 693 kilometers high orbit. In the coming hours, the vehicle will deploy the solar panels will get the energy to survive in space for at least seven years with his partner lookout Sentinel-1B, which will be released next year.I
With this ambitious project, the European Space Agency set up a system of environmental monitoring through high-resolution images, similar to that carried out by satellites that monitor and predict the weather. The sentries will therefore always set sight on the globe, with particular attention to landslides, volcanic eruptions, oil spills and ice shelves, to ensure the safety and calibrate risk natural disasters and resolve as soon as possible their consequences should they occur. This technology not only scrutinize the planet's surface, but also observe the atmosphere to shed light on the phenomenon of climate change, which in recent weeks has become particularly relevant because of the publication of a report on its devastating consequences.
It will not be the only release we attend as the "Copernicus" program consists of a family of missions each formed by a constellation of two satellites. The first of the first one is already ready to take pictures in all weather conditions and is day or night polar orbit. Its flagship device is the SAR radar antenna 12 meters and will study the earth's surface through the "echo" of microwaves sent from 700 kilometers altitude. Sentinel-1B, its namesake satellite is expected to be launched next year, and will be positioned at 180 degrees away together to provide a complete picture of the whole Earth in just six days.
The Sentinel mission, whose first satellite launch operations in an estimated three months, is considered the successor to the Envisat mission, which was operational for 10 years until in 2012 the communication with the satellite was finally lost.