Just four days after being lofted into orbit, Europe’s Sentinel-2A satellite delivered its first images of Earth, offering a glimpse of the ‘colour vision’ that it will provide for the Copernicus environmental monitoring programme.
With a swath width of 290 km, the satellite’s first acquisition began in Sweden and made a strip-like observation through central Europe and the Mediterranean, ending in Algeria.
Last night marked the end of Sentinel-2A's first three days in space, during which the teams on the ground working around the clock to ensure the spacecraft is ready for its 'colour vision' mission.
The ESA-developed Sentinel satellite – Sentinel-2A – was launched on 23 June, adding a high-resolution optical imaging capability to the European Union Copernicus environmental monitoring system.
The 1.1 tonne satellite was carried on a Vega rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 04:52 Romania time.
The European Space Agency (ESA) today confirmed that its Rosetta mission will be extended until the end of September 2016, at which point the spacecraft will most likely be landed on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.