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Europe lofts first Copernicus Environmental Satellite


The 2.3 tonne Sentinel-1A satellite lifted off on a Soyuz rocket from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on 3 April 2014 at 21:02 GMT. The mission is the first of six families of dedicated missions that will make up the core of Europe's Copernicus environmental monitoring network. Copernicus will provide operational information on the world's land surfaces, oceans and atmosphere to support environmental and security policymaking and the needs of individual citizens and service providers. After the initial .launch and early orbit phase', the satellite will go into the commissioning phase, when all instruments will be checked and calibrated. The mission is expected to begin operations within three months.

Data from the Sentinel satellites will be provided on a free and open basis.

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