The European Space Agency’s Sentinel 5 Precursor satellite will launch Friday aboard what could be the penultimate flight of Russia’s Rokot carrier rocket. Liftoff, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Northern Russia, is scheduled for 12:27 Moscow Time (09:27 UTC).
Sentinel 5 Precursor, or Sentinel-5p, is a small scientific satellite that will contribute to the Europe’s Copernicus programme, dedicated to Earth science and observation. Sentinel-5p will focus on the planet’s atmosphere, detecting and monitoring trace gases in the troposphere – the lowest region of Earth’s atmosphere.
The satellite will serve as a gap-filler, restoring capabilities lost when the Envisat spacecraft ceased operating in 2012 before a new generation of instruments begins launching in the early 2020s.
Copernicus, formerly the Global Monitoring for Environment and Safety (GMES), is an ambitious project being undertaken in partnership between the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) to deploy a fleet of satellites and instruments in space which will gather data on Earth and its environment. The European Commission manages the project, while ESA is responsible for its space component – which it is executing through its series of Sentinel missions.
Sentinel consists of six different types of satellites or instruments, each ...