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EU has Launched Sentinel 1A Earth-monitoring Satellite
Apr 11, 2014

The European Union (EU) has launched the first satelliteSentinel 1A as part of its Copernicus Earth observation programme from French Guiana. Copernicus will provide a means of monitoring Earth's sub-systems, the atmosphere, oceans, and continental surfaces.

The satellite is the first of six that will be launched between 2014 and 2021. Following its successful launch, it performed what is described as, "a carefully choreographed 10-hour dance routine to open its large radar antenna and solar wings." The two 10 m (33 ft) long solar wings and the 12 m (39 ft) long radar open in a specific sequence to minimize any risk. They are folded up during launch for protection.

Copernicus views the launch of Sentinel 1A as a significant achievement for the programme itself, for European Space Policy and for the European Union, which is using its broader space programme as means of generating growth in the coming years.

Through Sentinel 1A, new eyes will observe our living Earth as never before. The data provided by this satellite will enable considerable progress in improving maritime security, climate change monitoring and providing support in emergency and crisis situations.

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