Earth Observation Mission News
Preparing to fly Sentinel-5P
26 September 2017
The teams that will fly Sentinel-5P are training intensively for launch, ensuring that everyone knows their job and can react to any emergency.
A 'team of teams' at ESA's mission control centre has spent months preparing to assume control of Europe's next Earth observation mission, and the final weeks before launch have been the most intense.
Sentinel-5P – the P refers to 'precursor' – is the first mission for Copernicus dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere.
The satellite carries the state-of-the-art Tropomi instrument that will map a multitude of trace gases such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and aerosols – all of which affect the air we breathe, and therefore our health, and our climate.
Expansion of the Sentinel fleet in orbit highlights the expertise of teams at ESA and their capability to fly 'constellation' missions, as Sentinel-5P will fly in tight coordination with the US Suomi-NPP mission.
The challenging task of flying Sentinel-5P throughout its planned seven-year mission starts just 93 minutes after liftoff on 13 October, set for 09:27 GMT (11:27 CEST), on a Rockot from Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome.
Image credit: ESA/P. Shlyaev - Team training - Members of the Sentinel-5P mission control team seen in ESA's Main Control Room, Darmstadt, Germany, 26 September 2017, conducting simulation training to prepare for launch, planned for 13 October 2017.